Biparjoy: Pakistan to remain on red alert till June 18

climate change minister

KARACHI: Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman has said that the government will remain on red alert until June 18 in the wake of cyclone Biparjoy which is moving away from Karachi and is projected to make landfall in Keti Bandar along the Pakistani coast and Gujarat India on Thursday (today).

Rehman hailed the steps taken by the Sindh government for assisting, relocating and providing facilities to affected citizens.

“All institutions, including the Sindh police, have efficiently carried out the task of the relocation in the best possible manner,” she told Hum News.

She said that high alerts have been issued to track weather conditions in potentially impacted areas, apart from tracking the movement of Biparjoy.

Rehman believed that “Karachi has been spared by the cyclone” as it drifted towrads Keti Bandar and further Indian Gujarat.

The cyclone, however, could submerge certain areas underwater and could reach Hyderabad and Sukkur.

“The coastal cyclone should be taken seriously as its scope is significant. Precautions are necessary as situations can be unpredictable”, the minister said.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said that the very severe cyclonic storm has been advancing in a north-northeastward direction over the northeast Arabian Sea.

It is positioned around 230km south of Karachi, 235km south of Thatta, and 155km southwest of Keti Bandar, as of this morning.

At the centre of the storm, wind speeds have been recorded between 120-140 km/hour, with gusts reaching up to 150 km/hour. Waves as high as 30 feet are surging within the storm’s vicinity, the PMD said

The Pakistan National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has predicted heavy rainfall in regions including Thatta, Badin, Sajawal, Tharparkar, Mirpurkhas, and Umarkot until June 17.

In the coastal areas of Thatta, the intensity of the cyclone is escalating, with powerful sea waves battering the protective dam of Keti Bandar. As a precautionary measure, the cities of Keti Bandar and Juhu have been evacuated, and affected people have been relocated to relief camps.

The Thar desert is expected to bear the brunt of the cyclone with torrential rains upon its arrival. According to the World Meteorological Agency’s forecast for Thatta, the torrential rains are forecasted to commence on Friday.

Stormy rains are also expected in Badin, Diplo, Mithi, Islamkot, and Umarkot. Wind speeds of up to 110 kilometres per hour are predicted in Thatta and Badin, gradually diminishing to 85 kilometers per hour upon reaching Thar. The storm is set to enter India through the Thar region.

The cyclone has resulted in flooding of the sea in Karachi, with waves rising several feet. Coastal areas of Karachi have experienced intermittent, sometimes heavy, rainfall. The road leading to Seaview has been closed to traffic due to these conditions.

Kemari, Malir, South Karachi, Korangi, Thatta, Sajawal, and Badin are at significant risk of flooding. Construction work on high-rise buildings in Karachi has been halted as per directives from the Sindh Building Control Authority. Forty risky buildings and shops have been evacuated.

The evacuation is under way for the people residing in the coastal areas of Karachi, including Ibrahim Hydari and Chashma Goth.

According to Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, 60,000 individuals from coastal have been relocated to safe areas, with the remaining 10,000 also being transferred.

He said that 17 campuses have been established at various locations, providing shelter for those affected. Medical facilities have been arranged to cater to the needs of the victims. However, affected individuals have reported a scarcity of food and drinking water at the camps.

Meanwhile, strong winds and heavy rainfall caused roof damage in Badin, Keti Bandar, Sajawal, and Tharparkar. In Thatta, the cyclone has resulted in roofs being blown off.

The Hawke’s Bay Road was also affected as floodwaters surged along Karachi’s coastline. Traffic on the road has been closed due to the rising waves.

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