Terming huge losses caused by the torrential rains a ‘national disaster’, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Friday urged the Centre to help the provincial government in coping with the rain emergency, a private TV channel reported. Addressing a press conference in Karachi, Murad Ali Shah confirmed that as many as 80 people have died during the recent monsoon rains so far in Sindh. He said the rain-related incidents have claimed 47 lives in Karachi, 10 in Hyderabad, six in Larkana and five in Mirpur Khas so far. He maintained that Karachi received record-breaking rains in the current month, adding that 604 millimetres of rain was recorded in the port city during August. Karachi was plunged into chaos on Friday with power cuts, streets under water and cellphone outages caused by heavy rain as authorities said at least 23 people had been killed in downpours the previous day. Record torrential rainfall flooded major city streets and damaged homes and other buildings. The provincial government had declared a public holiday to avoid residents having to commute on Friday with Chundrigar Road, home to the central bank, stock exchange and head offices of several banks, flooded. The chief minister ordered schools be used to accommodate displaced families, whose homes had been damaged or were unreachable.Cellphone services were disrupted and much of the city was plunged in darkness overnight with the main power utility company K-Electric saying the ‘unprecedented situation’ was hampering efforts to restore electricity. Oil refinery Pakistan Refinery Ltd said in a notice to the stock exchange that it was suspending operations due to hazards created by floods. Some workers stayed at their offices and others spent the night in open areas because there was no transportation to get home in many parts of the city. Hundreds of vehicles were dragged along city streets by powerful flood waters. As Karachi and other parts of Sindh reel from three days of torrential rains that brought life to a virtual halt in many areas, the Met Office on Friday said another monsoon spell was likely to hit the two provinces starting Saturday. The latest rain-bearing system is likely to enter Sindh on Saturday and will cause rains in Sindh and Balochistan from Saturday to Monday, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said in a weather advisory. Under the influence of the system, rain/wind thundershowers, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls, are expected in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Shaheed Benazirabad, Dadu, Tharparkar, Nagarparkar, Mirpurkhas, Islamkot, Umerkot, Sanghar, Sukkur and Larkana from Saturday evening till Monday, according to the advisory. Rain-thundershowers with isolated heavy falls are also likely in the Balochistan areas of Lasbela, Khuzdar, Awaran, Barkhan, Zhob, Musakhel, Loralai, Kohlu and Sibbi on Sunday and Monday. The PMD said rain accompanied by thundershowers is also expected in parts of Punjab including Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Khanpur, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Khanewal and Sahiwal during the period. The advisory warned that heavy rainfall ‘may further aggravate existing urban flooding/water logging in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Mirpurkhas and Badin on Sunday and Monday’. “Heavy downpour may generate flash flooding in Sibbi, Kalat, Khuzdar, Lasbela and Dera Ghazi Khan during the period,” it further said.Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Karachi ‘next week’, according to a statement by Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah. His remarks came after a meeting on Friday presided by PM Imran to review progress of the various development projects being carried out by the federal government in Sindh. All federal government institutions have been instructed to provide help to Karachi in dealing with the destruction caused by torrential rains in August, said the prime minister. Governor Ismail briefed the premier on the latest situation in Karachi and presented a detailed review of the progress of the federal government’s development projects in Sindh province, including in the port city. PM Imran said he was fully aware of the development needs and problems of the people of Sindh and that the federal government would play its role in this regard. A comprehensive plan on sewerage and drainage, as well as for clean drinking water, in Karachi is being formulated in consultation with stakeholders, he said.The prime minister also said he spoke with CM Shah a day prior to discuss the situation after the recent rains in Karachi. “I have assured the Sindh government of all possible assistance from the Centre and the public institutions,” he said. Noting that “Karachi is the most important city of Pakistan”, the premier assured that he would make use of all resources to tackle the emergency situation at present.