- Thousands evacuated from flood-prone areas in Thatta, Badin, Sujawal
- In Karachi, a population of 10,000 moved out of Ibrahim Hyderi UC
- Biparjoy was earlier expected to make landfall between Mandvi in Gujarat and Karachi
- At least seven people have been killed in India during rains caused by the cyclone
Cyclone Biparjoy made landfall in India’s Gujarat coast near the Pakistan border late on Thursday evening, the Met Office said, as strong winds and heavy rain lashed coastal areas of the two countries.
“The landfall process of VSCS (Biparjoy) commenced along the Indian Gujarat coast and Pakistan-India border and will get complete by midnight,” said the Pakistan Meteorological Department.
Biparjoy, which means ‘disaster’ or ‘calamity’ in the Bengali language, was centred in the Arabian Sea 30 kilometres off Jakhau port in the western Indian state close to the border with Pakistan, weather officials said.
India and Pakistan evacuated more than 180,000 people from the coastal areas to safety ahead of the cyclone.
The National Disaster Management Authority also confirmed the development, saying that the coast of Gujarat was located 150km south of Keti Bandar. “But the storm has not yet reached Keti Bandar, so its impact on Pakistan’s coastline is limited.”
The NDMA added that it would be clear from further developments.
Cyclone damages power lines, uproot trees in India
Strong winds, heavy rain and high tides lashed India’s Gujarat coast late on Thursday as cyclone Biparjoy made landfall.
Deserted coastal towns were battered in the dark in parts of Gujarat as power went out after electricity poles fell and some trees were uprooted by gusty winds, officials said.
More than 100,000 people have been evacuated from eight coastal districts in Gujarat and moved to shelters, the state government said.
As the storm neared land, the windspeed rose around Jakhau, said Amit Arora, a revenue official in the region of Kutch, where more than 50,000 people have been evacuated.
Power supply was disrupted at many places in Kutch district in Gujarat because of strong winds, said Amit Arora, a top district official.
Indian television footage showed high waves crashing on the shores of many coastal areas of Gujarat, as winds bent tall trees and displaced some structures.
In the coastal town of Mandvi, a Reuters witness said strong winds had uprooted trees and caused waterlogging. Other districts in the state also reported fallen trees and moderate rain.
Sherry Rehman cautions people against venturing into coastal areas
Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said on Thursday that the cyclone was changing its heading and it had ‘‘slowed down’’. A day earlier she said that it was turning away from Karachi, but will hit Keti Bandar.
Zoom Earth, which has been the source of Bijparjoy updates for government officials and media outlets, indicated that the cyclone had taken a northwestern course, curving towards India by Thursday afternoon. It will make landfall in the Indian territory.
The ‘‘cone of uncertainty’’ marking the area that may be hit by the cyclone no longer included Keti Bandar. The small Pakistani port was earlier falling inside the cone.
High tidal waves have already hit the coastal areas near Karachi. The Hawke’s Bay Road that runs from the beach to Mauripur was flooded Wednesday evening.
A video making rounds on social media showed waves hitting the huts on the beach.
Several other roads were submerged by midnight. An Aaj News correspondent reported that police had closed the highway near Badin on Thursday.
Sherry Rehman cautioned people against venturing into the coastal areas.
“The wind speed will be 100 kilometer per hour to 120 kilometer per hour with wind gusts of 140 kilometer per hour at the time of landfall,” she said during a press conference at NDMA on Wednesday.
The cyclone is advancing toward Pakistan at a speed of 60 kilometer per hour, she said, adding: “The maximum sustained speed of the cyclone is 150 kilometer per hour to 160 kilometer per hour with wind gusts of 180 kilometer per hour.”
She said that intermittent thunderstorm and rainstorm are expected in Karachi, while 330 millimeter rain is expected in the coastal areas which will likely affect Hub and Lasbela.
Amid the approaching cyclone, the Pak Navy has shifted its assets to safety, she said adding that the military, Sindh Rangers and Sindh Police have been deployed for rescue operations.
As Cyclone Biparjoy advances towards Pakistan, the authorities intensified the efforts to evacuate people from the coastal areas of Sindh.
Sindh’s Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon on Wednesday said that 91% of the population in the high risk areas has been shifted to safety. Around 67,367 people have been shifted to safe areas, he added.
A total of 13,000 people have been evacuated from Keti Bandar, while another 5,000 from Ghorabari, Thatta have also been shifted to safe areas, he said.
The provincial authorities have also shifted 8,300 people from Sujawal to safety, Memon said.
Earlier, officials said that evacuation efforts continued on Wednesday amid Cyclone Biparjoy’s advance which has intensified as extremely severe cyclonic storm (ESCS) – Category 3, with a sustained windspeed of approximately 140-150km/hr and gusts up to 200 km/hour. NDMA Chairman Lt Gen Inam Haider Malik said the cyclone would make landfall on Thursday.
The provincial government is planning to move 80,000 citizens out of the path of an approaching cyclone, which is expected to bring winds of up to 150km/hr.
Maximum sustained surface winds were 140-150km/hr gusts 170km/hr around the system centre and sea conditions being phenomenal around the system centre with a maximum wave height of 30ft.
Under the existing upper-level steering winds, Biparjoy was most likely to track further northward until June 14 (Wednesday) morning, then recurve northeastward and cross between Keti Bandar (Southeast Sindh) and Indian Gujarat coast on June 15 (Thursday) afternoon/evening as a VSCS with packing winds of 100-120km/hr gusting 140km/hr.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department has warned of widespread wind-dust/thunderstorm rain with some very heavy/extremely heavy falls accompanied by squally winds of 80-100km/hr gusting 120km/hour likely in Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Tharparker, Mirpurkhas & Umerkot districts during June 13-17.
Dust/thunderstorm-rain with few heavy falls and accompanied by squally winds of 60-80km/hr likely in Karachi, Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allayar, Shaheed Benazirabad & Sanghar districts from 14 -16 June.
Dust/thunderstorm-rain with isolated heavy falls likely in Hub, Lasbella districts of Balochistan during 14-16 June.
Squally (high intensity) winds may cause damage to loose & vulnerable structures (Kutcha houses) including solar panels etc.
Storm surge of 3-3.5 meters (8-12 feet) expected at the land falling point (Keti Bandar and around) which can inundate the low-lying settlements.
Sea conditions along the Sindh coast may get very rough to high (2-2.5 metre) accompanied and rough to very rough (2metre) along the Balochistan coast (Sonmiani, Hub, Kund Malir. Ormara, and surroundings).
Fishermen are advised not to venture into the open sea till the system is over by 17 June.
Karachi to Sukkur flights cancelled due to storm
The national flag carrier cancelled on Tuesday flights from Karachi to Sukkur and Sukkur to Karachi because of cyclone Biparjoy, a spokesperson of the PIA said.
“The effects of the storm will begin on the air corridors from 3am tomorrow (Wednesday),” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The PIA has completed all safety arrangements to prevent dangers of the cyclone. He added that the national flag carrier has formed emergency teams in view of the possible storm.
“If winds disturb the flights, they will be diverted to alternate ports. Lahore or Multan airports may be used as alternate ports for flights to Karachi and Sukkur,” the spokesperson said.
37,755 people prone to cyclone shifted in Thatta, Badin, Sujawal: Murad
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah paid a surprise visit to the city to ensure the removal of billboards, neon signs, traffic sign boards, and other loose installations to avert damage or any untoward incidents during the cyclonic winds which are expected to lash the city on June 15.
Murad started his visit right from Shahrah-e-Faisal opposite FTC building, at the nursery, near the airport the foundation/structure of the billboard was still fixed. The CM directed the commissioners to activate his deputy commissioners and DMCs to remove them.
Evacuation from Karachi
The commissioner said that the estimated population to be affected during cyclone was around 40,000 and the suspected population to be shifted to rescue points was around 5,000 to 10,000.
Lath Basti: Three buildings of educational institutions- Government Primary Schoo, Lath Basti, Degree College Cattle Colony, and Tsunami Center Lath Basi have been designated as relief camps.
Rehri and Dabla Para: TFC School Rehri, Govt hospital Rehri, Primary school Rehri, Wagoo Da, Tsunami Centre Rehri, would be relief camps.
Chashma Goth: Relief camps have been set up at sunami center Ali Mohammad Khaskheli Goth, Tsunami Center Jatt Para, Primary school Wagoo Darr-II, Secondary School Ali Mohammad Khaskheli village.
Ibrahim Hyderi: Tsunami Center Ibrahim Hyderi, Girls Degree College, Football Ground, and Ibrahim Hyderi Primary School.
Officials told the CM was told that the shifting of the people have been started.
Evacuation from Thatta, Sujawal, and Badin:
The commissioner Hyderabad has informed the chief minister that the total vulnerable population of Thatta, Sujawal, and Badin is 85,022, of which 24,105 have been evacuated. “The evacuation process is in progress and by the late evening another 13,650 would be shifted to safe places. The total evacuation would come to 37,755 by Tuesday night,” he said.
The details are as follows:
Thatta: Out of the 13,000 vulnerable population of Keti Bandar 6,000 have been shifted to seven relief camps.
The vulnerable population of Gora Bari is around 5,000, of them 2,000 have been evacuated and housed at three camps.
Sujawal: Sujawal has 36,560 vulnerable population of them 2,578 have been shifted to 10 camps. Jati has 9,027 people prone to the storm, of them 3,027 have been evacuated and settled at four camps.
Similarly, out of the 7,936 vulnerable population of Kharochan, 3,000 have been shifted.
Badin: Shaheed Fazel Rahu has 11,000 vulnerable population of them 6,500 have been shifted to eight camps. Out of the 2,500 vulnerable population of Badin taluka, 1,000 have been shifted.
Cyclonic storm lies about 410km south of Karachi
Karachi Commissioner Iqbal Memon said that Biparjoy over the Northeast Arabian Sea has further moved north-northwestward.
“The cyclonic storm lies about 410km south of Karachi, and 400km south of Thatta,” he said in a briefing to the chief minister. “The sustained surface winds are 150-160km/hr gusts with 180km/hr around the system centre and sea conditions are phenomenal around the system center with a maximum wave height of 30 feet.”
The environmental conditions (sea surface temperature of 29-30°C, low vertical wind shear and upper-level divergence) were in support to sustain its strength through the forecast period.
56,985 people evacuated from vulnerable areas: Sharjeel Memon
“Till now 56,985 people were evacuated from vulnerable areas,” said Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon.
“Rescue operation is continuing. The government of Sindh along with elected representatives of PPP is very much available on the ground,” he said.
PM Shehbaz calls for utilising all-out resources for people’s protection
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed the Sindh provincial government, NDMA, and other relevant organisations to utilise all-out resources to ensure people’s protection keeping in view the Biparjoy cyclone.
The prime minister, who chaired a meeting to review the preparedness ahead of the possible impact of the Biparjoy cyclone, asked the Sindh government, NDMA, and other organizations to ensure the establishment of mobile hospitals in coastal areas and provide adequate emergency medical assistance there.
In view of the storm, he said that special arrangements for clean drinking water and food should be made at the camps of displaced persons.
The prime minister instructed Power Minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan to ensure his presence in the districts of southern Sindh until the effects of the cyclone were over, to monitor the 24-hour power transmission system in the coastal areas.
PM Shehbaz said after the cyclone, the possible damage to the power transmission system should be repaired immediately.
He also set up a committee to deal with the emergency situation arising in view of the Biparjoy cyclone. To be headed by Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman, the committee would comprise Power Minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan, Food Security Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema, NDMA Chairman Lt Gen Inam Haider Malik, and representatives of Sindh and Balochistan governments, Meteorological Department and National Institute of Health.
The prime minister instructed the committee for constant consultation to deal with the situation arising from the cyclone and keep the people aware of any possible emergency. Complete evacuation of people from the coastal areas likely to be affected, should be ensured, besides providing relief materials to them.
“Inshallah, all the institutions will collectively deal with the possible situation arising from the cyclone Biparjoy cyclone,” he resolved.
Officials briefed the PM on the route of the cyclone and the possible collision with the coastal areas.
They said that the storm was likely to hit Keti Bandar on June 15 and was predicted to end completely within three days. Winds are blowing at an average speed of 140-150 km per hour.
They added that 90 per cent of 50,000 people from 9,000 households have been relocated from the coastal areas.
The displaced people are being accommodated in government buildings and temporary camps where Pakistan Army, NDMA, provincial government and district administration were providing food, tents, mosquito nets and clean drinking water, they added.
All the rescue and relief organizations in the possibly affected coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan were on high alert, officials said, adding that fishermen who were already in the sea were also being evacuated besides disallowing others from going to the sea.
The arrangements to deal with the situation arising in Karachi due to the change in the route of the storm were also discussed during the meeting.
As rains were expected in Karachi, the NDMA, provincial bodies, district administration and all related organisations were ready to deal with any emergency situation, they added.
Cyclone Biparjoy is a reality: Sherry Rehman
Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman reminded the people that the cyclone Biparjoy was a reality and people should strictly follow the advisory about precautionary measures.
“People should follow the advisory seriously as cyclones are very unpredictable. They should cooperate with the concerned local bodies,” she said at a press conference in Islamabad,
She said that there has been a difference in the intensity of the cyclone but caution is very important. There is a possibility of flooding in Karachi due to the scale and intensity of the winds, she said.
“The cyclone is likely to affect the areas of Keti Bandar, Thatta, and Umarkot. There is also an emergency situation in Karachi,” she said.
Sherry warned that people should not take the cyclone situation for granted. “Stay away from the solar panel during the storm, it can cause damage.” The minister added that Sajawal, Adhi, and Keti Bandar have almost been evacuated.
‘Biparjoy is heading towards Karachi’
The cyclone was headed towards Karachi and it could cause mud houses to collapse. “Winds are blowing in the city and there is drizzle,” he said.
The chief minister said that the first priority was to protect the lives of the people, and their preparations regarding the cyclone are complete. “People should understand and keep the doors closed during the cyclone.”
Murad said he has visited different areas of the coastal belt and it would be very difficult to rescue people after the cyclone.
The sky remained overcast throughout the day in Karachi as strong winds blow. There were reports of sporadic drizzle in the afternoon.
Zoom Earth, which has been source for the most of the Biparjoy update, data showed that the cyclone could make landfall by Thursday noon between Keti Bandar and the Indian state of Gujarat.
Sindh Rangers DG and Major General Azhar Waqas made an emergency visit to the coastal belt of Thatta and Badin. The civil administration and rescue agencies have called for help.
Rains to begin in Sindh soon
Rains are expected to begin from Tuesday in Thatta, Badin, Sujawal, and Tharparkar and will likely continue till June 17.
In Karachi, rains are expected from June 14 to 16.
CM Sindh orders evacuation
“We will not request people but demand them to evacuate,” Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah told reporters, adding that the order was being issued through social media, mosques, and radio stations.
The cyclone is roughly 400 kilometer South of Karachi and 340 kilometer south of Thatta, and is expected to maintain a northward trajectory until the morning of June 14, the NDMA said.
“It is then likely to recurve eastward and will make a landfall between Keti Bandar (Southeast Sindh Coastline) and the Indian Gujarat Coastline in the afternoon of June 15, 2023, as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm,” according to the NDMA forecasts.
The areas likely to be affected include Thatta, Badin, Sajawal, Tharparkar, Karachi, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Hyderabad, Ormara, Tando Allah Yar Khan, and Tando Mohammad Khan, the NDMA said.
“Maximum sustained surface winds are 140-150km/hour gusts 170km/hour around the system centre and sea conditions being phenomenal around the system canter with maximum wave height 35-40 feet,” it added.
Swathes of coastal communities in southern Sindh province are set to suffer storm surges up to 3.5 metres (12 feet), which could inundate low-lying settlements, as well as up to 30 centimetres of rain.
The Sindh CM was on a visit to coastal areas as Karachi authorities issued threat alerts and began vacating buildings that were declared at risk. Fishermen have also been told not to venture out to sea.
Murad said an emergency has been declared and the army drafted in to help relocate “more than 80,000 people” at risk.
The Sindh Building Control Authority issued a high alert for Karachi on Monday and established an emergency control room in Karachi. A statement said that 450 buildings were classified as “dangerous” while 40 buildings have been declared outright dilapidated.
The SBCA said that evacuations from at-risk buildings have begun and will be completed by Monday afternoon. Officers in all districts of Karachi have been alerted as well.
PPP’s Murtaza Wahab said the Sindh CM was visiting the coastal areas of Sindh to oversee preparations made to deal with the cyclone.
“Chief Minister Sindh is presiding over a meeting to deal with any sort of emergency situation which may be caused due to the cyclone. He has already visited the coastal belt earlier today & issued instructions to the administration as well as PDMA,” said Wahab.
A spokesman for Shah said around 2,000 people have already been evacuated to “safe places” from the area of Shah Bandar, a fishing town nestled among mangrove deltas 45 kilometres (28 miles) west of India’s Gujarat state.
But in the nearby village of Gul Muhammad Uplano, authorities struggled to persuade families to leave.
“We will become helpless in the government camps, that is why we are better off at our own place,” said 46-year-old Gul Hasan.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department has warned that traditional mud and straw homes which house the poorest in Pakistan will be vulnerable to disintegration in high winds.
But in the settlement of Haji Ibrahim, a cluster of such structures, fisherman Abu Bakar said concerns over losing their livelihoods prevail.
“Our boat, goats and camels are our assets,” the 20-year-old said. “We cannot compromise on their safety.”
“But if the danger becomes imminent, we will be forced to leave to save our lives,” he conceded.
Centre assures Sindh of support
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif lauded the Sindh government for the arrangements to deal with the cyclone.
“I just spoke to CM Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and discussed the preparations to deal with the cyclone,” he tweeted. “I assured the Sindh government of complete support of the federal government. God willing, we will be able to overcome this situation with the support of the people.”
Army troops called in to assist provincial government
Pakistan Army has issued instructions to all garrisons on an emergency basis to provide full assistance and rescue to the people in view of the cyclone. A special conference was called on Monday under the Corp Commander Karachi on Monday night in Badin, with DG Rangers and GOC Hyderabad in attendance.
“Heavy troops of the Pakistan Army have been dispatched from Hyderabad, Badin and Malir cantts to assist the civil administration in evacuating vulnerable populations from all coastal areas in view of the cyclone,” said a statement.
The development came after a meeting held under the chairmanship of Sindh CM Murad to take precautionary measures to avoid possible cyclone Biparjoy. A strategy was made to deal with the cyclone and fresh troops were deployed. The command of Pakistan Army decided that more troops of Pakistan Army would also perform their duties for possible rescue operations
In total, around 90,000 civilians are to be evacuated from the coastal areas of Thatta, Sajawal and Badin.
“Pakistan Army has prepared all the garrisons of Karachi Corps by utilising all the resources for all kinds of relief activities and management of the affected people,” said the statement.
More than 40 buildings in Karachi have also been identified for immediate evacuation in view of the dangers. “Pakistan Army will play its full role in the front line to prevent all kinds of losses and provide full assistance to the people,” it said.
‘Adverse effects of climate change’
Provincial lawmaker Muhammad Ali Malkani told AFP that a decision had been made to evacuate the population living up to eight kilometres inland.
Karachi – a port city home to around 20 million – is also due to be deluged by dust and thunderstorms with winds whipping up to 80 kilometres per hour.
Billboards will be removed and 70 vulnerable buildings evacuated in the city, while construction will be stopped over the entire affected area.
India’s Meteorological Department said Monday the storm will hit western Gujarat state around noon on Thursday, with winds gusting up to 150 kilometres per hour causing “total destruction of thatched houses”.
Heavy rains and strong winds late Saturday killed 27 people in northwest Pakistan, including eight children, officials said.
“Undoubtedly, these are the adverse effects of climate change,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Twitter Sunday.
Last summer, Pakistan was hit by massive monsoon rains which put a third of the country under water, damaged two million homes and killed more than 1,700 people.
Pakistan, the world’s fifth most populous country with 220 million inhabitants, is responsible for only 0.8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
But the nation ranks highly among those vulnerable to extreme weather events, which scientists say are becoming more frequent and more severe owing to climate change.
Section 144 imposed in Balochistan’s coastal areas
Balochistan CM Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo ordered instructions for the imposition of Section 144 (ban on gathering of people) in the province’s coastal belt, state media PTV News reported.
“Leaves of the employees of all relevant departments have been cancelled, hospitals have been put on high alert,” the state broadcaster said in a tweet, adding that Makran and Kalat commissioners had been directed to monitor the measures taken for dealing with the cyclone.
The state broadcaster quoted CM Bizenjo as saying that relevant departments should remain in touch with and consult fishermen 24 hours.
Nearly a dozen districts in coastal Gujarat would be affected by heavy rainfall and gusting winds, although some of these are sparsely populated, which would limit the damage, said a weather office official, who declined to be named.
Fishermen in Gujarat have been advised against going to sea and those at sea have been called back, with 21,000 boats parked so far, the government said on Monday.
Offshore oil installations have also been asked to ensure immediate return of all manpower, and two of India’s largest ports - Kandla and Mundra - located in Gujarat have been alerted while other ports have been advised for preventive action.
Gujarat Pipavav Port Limited, in a stock exchange filing on Monday, said operations at its Pipavav Port had been suspended since late Saturday evening due to “prevailing severe weather conditions”.
Ten teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and 12 of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Gujarat, the government said, with three more NDRF teams on standby and another 15 ready to be airlifted from other states on short notice.
“Rescue and relief teams of the Coast Guard, Army and Navy along with ships and aircrafts have been kept ready on standby,” it said.
A 1998 cyclone killed at least 4,000 people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in Gujarat.
Biparjoy delayed the onset of the annual monsoon over the southern state of Kerala, but now conditions are favourable for the progress of much-needed rains in some more parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states, India’s weather office said.
NDMA on the storm’s progress
The National Disaster Management Authority posted a video showing the storm’s trajectory on Monday, adding that the storm was ‘extremely severe’ and evolving.
Moreover, roads leading to the sea view are closed to traffic and the locals are directed to avoid travelling there.
On Sunday, authorities said that the cyclone was likely to impact the southern and south-eastern parts of Sindh by June 13. The disaster management authority urged people to stay away from coastal areas as the cyclone was likely to intensify in the next 24 hours.**
The NDMA, in an earlier series of tweets, warned that cyclones may cause strong winds, torrential rains, and floods in the coastal areas.
“The general public is advised to remain aware of the weather conditions, avoid going to the beach and follow local authorities’ guidance in any emergency situation. The fishermen are also advised not to venture into the open sea,” it added.
It also advised the authorities concerned to launch an awareness campaign in the local language to keep the people informed of the evolving situation in the wake of the cyclone.
Karachi is safe, but temperature may go above 40°C: chief meterologist
The possible track of the storm is Pakistan and India border, chief meteorologist Sardar Sarfraz said in an interview with Aaj Exclusive on Sunday.
“Right now, it is 690km away from Karachi’s north and 670km from Thatta. Its intensity has increased over the past 34 and 36 hours that’s why it is an extremely severe cyclonic storm,” he said.
He warned that the coastline of Thatta and Sajawal would also be covered. “Karachi is quite safe as there is not any chance of a direct hit,” said Sarfaraz.
When the cyclone between Keti Bundar and Rann of Kutch, the chief meteorologist added that Karachi’s weather would be hot for two to three days.
“Warm winds can blow from the southeast,” he said and agreed with the host that the temperature may go above 40 degrees centigrade on Monday (tomorrow) as the sea breeze would be trapped into the cyclone when it gets near to it.
However, on Monday the real-time mercury in Karachi was recorded at 45 degrees centigrade.
At least 9,000 families have been asked to move to other areas, said PDMA Sindh DG Syed Salman Shah.
“Boats have also been arranged to evacuate people. Those living in slums are also being informed,” he said.
Karachi commissioner orders removal of billboards
Karachi Commissioner Iqbal Memon has directed authorities concerned to remove all billboards from the city in view of the Arabian Sea Cyclone Biparjoy that has intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm.
In a letter written to all deputy commissioners, Memon has directed that all signboards on buildings and rooftops be immediately removed.
He also ordered that all deputy commissioners must remain active in their respective areas and do safety measures in view of the rain forecast and gusty winds under the influence of Cyclone Biparjoy.
Sindh government takes precautionary measures
Sindh’s Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that Thatta and Badin have more threats from Cyclone Biparjoy. “We have to evacuate 8,000 to 9,000 families to safer places.”
He added that the provincial government has issued instructions to deputy commissioners of three districts. “We have also been in contact with the Corps Commander Karachi.”
Coastal areas of Pakistan will have strong effects: Safaraz
Chief Meteorologist, from Karachi, Sardar Sarfaraz said that the cyclone was around 910km away from Karachi and 890km from Thatta.
“It has tilted towards the coastal areas of Sindh and Indian Gujarat. The cyclone will be on the same path for the next 24 hours,” he said in a video statement.
There was a possibility that it would then tilt towards the Northwest, he said, adding it would be possible after 24 hours to determine whether the cyclone would head towards Balochistan and Oman or the coastal areas of Sindh and Indian Gujarat.
In both cases, the coastal areas of Pakistan would have strong effects such as strong winds, heavy rains and roughness in the seas, Sarfaraz said.
“The waves get high from the point where the storm cells strike, which is likely to submerge low-line coastal areas of Pakistan,” he added.
Wary of the possible situation, the PMD advised fishermen not to venture into the open sea from tomorrow (Sunday) onwards till the system was over as the Arabian Sea conditions might get “very rough/high” accompanied by high tides along the coast.
With its probable north-northeast track, the rain-thunderstorm with some heavy falls and squally winds was expected on the Sindh-Makran coast from June 13 evening/night onwards.
“Squally (high intensity) winds may cause damage to loose & vulnerable structures. Sea conditions are very high/phenomenal around the system canter with maximum wave height 25-28 feet,” it said.
Karachi bans going to sea
Amid the cyclone threat, Commissioner Karachi has imposed Section 144 on going to the sea as the cyclone is about 910kms away from the port city.
According to the notification, bathing, and hunting in the sea will be banned, and fishermen in the sea are also at risk, the ban will be imposed from June 11 until further order.
The Met Office forecast rain and thundershowers in the coastal belt on June 13 to 14.
The direction of the storm has changed to the northeast, wind speed of 120 to 130 kilometers per hour is blowing around the storm, Met Office said.
Waves of about 25 to 30 feet high are rising around the system, and it will take another 36 to 48 hours to assess the direction of the storm.
Apart from this, the storm is likely to hit the coast of Oman and the Indian state of Gujarat.
With input from news agencies.