KARACHI: The coastal regions of India and Pakistan are on high alert with tens of thousands being evacuated a day before Cyclone Biparjoy is expected to make landfall.
Pakistan’s Met office said the Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) “ BIPARJOY” over northeast Arabian Sea has moved north-northeastward and now lies at a distance of about 370km south- southwest of Karachi, 355km south- southwest Thatta and 290km south- southwest of Keti Bandar.
Reuters reported that four boys drowned in rough seas off the western Indian financial hub of Mumbai on Tuesday as India and Pakistan began evacuating people from coastal areas, Reuters reported.
Al Jazeera reported that classified as a very severe cyclonic storm, Biparjoy, currently packing maximum sustained winds of up to 145 kilometres an hour (90mph), was situated about 280km (174 miles) from Jakhau port in western India’s Gujarat state and was expected to make landfall sometime on Thursday evening.
“It will touch Kutch-Saurashtra coast (in Gujarat) adjoining the Pakistan coast between Mandvi and Karachi and near Jakhau port on June 15 from 4pm to 8pm in India (10:30-14:30 GMT),” Manorama Mohanty, the Gujarat director of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), told reporters.
Residents living within 5km (3 miles) of the coast in Gujarat were evacuated, and those living within 10km (6.2 miles) may also have to move out, officials said. The Press Trust of India news agency said nearly 40,000 people have been evacuated to relief camps in Gujarat.
The Sindh government has evolved an emergency plan to cope with the possible situation. All civic departments
The powerful cyclone is most likely to hit the area between Keti Bandar and Indian Gujarat coast on 15 June afternoon.
According to Business Recorder: “Considering the severity of issue, the Sindh government departments including KW&SB, Karachi Police, Local government department, Sindh Solid Waste Management, KDA, DMCs, KMC and private power company K-Electric (KE) have enforced emergency to deal with the grim situation. In this regard, Provincial Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that emergency has been imposed in the local government in view of the cyclone. The officers and staff of SSWMB, KDA, DMCs and KMC have been put on emergency duty.”
The removal of billboards from the city is in progress. The removal of billboards is also in progress from the areas under the administration of DHA and Cantonment Boards. Instructions have also been given to remove panels on pedestrian bridges and flyovers. However, Sindh Chief Minister visited different areas and reviewed the removal of billboards, it said.
Met office said “BIPARJOY” started to recurve North-northeastward and likely cross between Keti Bandar (Southeast Sindh) and Indian Gujarat coast on 15 June evening as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) with packing winds of 100-120 Km/hour gusting 140 km/hour. PMD’s cyclone warning center, Karachi is continuously monitoring the system and will issue update accordingly.
Fishermen are advised not to venture in open sea till the system is over by 17 June.