Cyclone Biparjoy: Pak's Sindh province 'prepared for the worst'

Cyclone Biparjoy: Pak's Sindh province 'prepared for the worst'

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As the very severe cyclonic storm Biparjoy is set to make landfall in Pakistan and India on Thursday, authorities in Sindh province are "prepared for the worst", with tens of thousands of people being evacuated to safer areas.

Karachi, June 15 (IANS) As the very severe cyclonic storm Biparjoy is set to make landfall in Pakistan and India on Thursday, authorities in Sindh province are "prepared for the worst", with tens of thousands of people being evacuated to safer areas.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department's (PMD) latest advisory released on Wednesday night showed that Biparjoy had moved north-eastwards during the past six hours, reports Dawn news.

Late on Wednesday night, the cyclone lay at about 310 km south of Karachi, 300 km south-southwest of Thatta and 240 km south-southwest of Keti Bandar.

The cyclone is likely to reduce its strength after hitting the land, but the PMD has asked fishermen not to venture into the open sea until Saturday.

Addressing reporters, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman warned that both thunder and rainstorms were expected to occur, which could cause substantial damage, Dawn news reported.

She urged people, especially in Karachi, to refrain from dabbling in "disaster tourism" and going to the beach to witness the storm and called on them to cooperate with authorities.

The Minister also informed that 75 relief camps had been set up to accommodate those who were evacuated, and most of them were places with stable roofs, such as schools and colleges.

Driven by winds of around 100 to 120 km per hour and a huge cloud mass spanning over 200 to 300 km over the sea, Biparjoy is projected to make landfall between Keti Bandar in Sindh and India's Gujarat's coast on Thursday evening, posing multiple threats to the coastal areas in the two countries.

Keti Bandar, one of the most impoverished towns of Sindh, is likely to face the cyclone's brunt and is officially stated to be completely evacuated.

Several low-lying settlements in Thatta and Sujawal, most of which were already evacuated, witnessed high-tide flooding, with rising seawater levels reported fishing villages of Karachi's Ibrahim Hyderi and Badin.

According to the Sindh Chief Minister House, 67,367 people have been evacuated from the three vulnerable districts of Thatta, Sujawal and Badin, where 39 relief camps have been set up.

Meanwhile, the army is continuing its rescue and relief operations, evacuating scores of people in the coastal areas.

"Over 82 per cent of the vulnerable population has been shifted to safe locations. Nine relief camps have been set up in Thatta and 14 in Sujawal and Badin. Troops are on high alert for the next 72 hours and the evacuation process will be completed tonight," Dawn news quoted the army's media wing as saying late Wednesday.

Courtesy: IANS

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