Cyclone Biparjoy weakens in Pakistan, batters Indian Gujrat

KARACHI: The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said that the cyclonic “Biparjoy” has weakened but turned into a cyclonic storm, which is likely to make landfall in the Hyderabad, Nooriabad and Thatta regions on Friday morning before it slips into a depression mode by the evening.

The PMD said that the cyclone has moved further northeastward and was currently at a distance of 135km from Keti Bandar, 160km from Thatta & 220km from Karachi, the PMD said. 

The PMD has asked the authorities concerned to remain alert as moderate to heavy rain and thunderstorms had been predicted in the Sindh province.

The PMD said that heavy rainstorms were expected in Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Tharparker, Mirpurkhas and Umerkot until 17 June.

Karachi was expected to experience scattered showers on Friday, the PMD said adding that there was a possibility of rain across Punjab and in upper parts of the country including in Islamabad. The PMD has predicted strong winds, rain and thunderstorms for upper parts of the country.

The Met Office said that Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were also expected to experience rain accompanied by thunder and lightning.

Meanwhile, roofs were blown off houses and trees and electric poles uprooted in several parts of India’s western state of Gujarat as the severe cyclone made landfall overnight and heavy rain continued to lash the coast early on Friday.

More than 180,000 people were evacuated in India and Pakistan in the last few days as Biparjoy hit coasts in both countries.

Biparjoy, which means ‘disaster’ or ‘calamity’ in the Bengali language, made landfall near Jakhau, a port in Gujarat that is close to the border with Pakistan, weather officials told Reuters.

India’s weather department warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall in Gujarat and the neighbouring state of Rajasthan through Friday.

Biparjoy weakened after hitting land with a wind speed of 105 km per hour (65.24 miles per hour) to 115 kmph (136.7 mph), Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general at the India Meteorological Department said on Friday.

Local television showed visuals of uprooted trees, people sheltering against strong winds and debris lying on roads in the aftermath of the cyclone.

Biparjoy was classified as a category one storm, the least severe on a scale of one to five. Additional input from Reuters


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