Evacuation to begin along Sindh coastline as Pakistan prepares for extremely severe Cyclone Biparjoy

The escalating risk of tropical cyclone Biparjoy in the Arabian Sea, expected to hit Pakistan’s coastal areas on June 15, has prompted the government to initiate evacuation measures for residential areas and human settlements along the coast of Sindh.

As Biparjoy intensifies into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm (ESCS), Provincial authorities are on a high alert to address the anticipated impact on Sindh’s coastal regions. The India Meteorological Department reports that the cyclone is currently situated approximately 660 kilometers south of Karachi.

“It is very likely to move nearly northward till 14th morning, then move north-northeastwards and cross Saurashtra & Kutch and adjoining Pakistan coasts between Mandvi (Gujarat) and Karachi (Pakistan) by noon of 15th June as a very severe cyclonic storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 125-135 kmph gusting to 150 kmph.”

Preemptive measures

As Sindh braces for the cyclone’s approach, the government and meteorological agencies remain vigilant in monitoring its movement and providing timely updates to ensure the protection of vulnerable areas and communities. A meeting chaired by Karachi Commissioner Iqbal Memon was held in Karachi on Sunday to discuss the preemptive measures regarding the cyclonic storm.

Sindh Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfaraz and officials from provincial and national disaster management authorities, Met department, health department, Pakistan Navy, and all other local and municipal bodies were in attendance.

During the meeting, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and other relevant authorities were directed to implement the evacuation plan by June 13.

Evacuation Plan:

  • Residential areas and human settlements near the Sindh coast will be evacuated.
  • Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah announced that a total of 10,000 people will be evacuated under the plan.
  • Areas included in the evacuation plan are Baba Bhit, Mubarak Village, Ibrahim Hydri Village, the harbor, and other low-lying coastal villages.
  • Keamari, Malir, South, and Korangi deputy commissioners have been directed to ensure the safe evacuation of residents to designated relief camps.

Cyclone Forecast:

  • Cyclone Biparjoy, now classified as an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm (ESCS), is expected to impact Sindh’s coastal areas on June 15 (Thursday).
  • The cyclone is projected to cross the Saurashtra & Kutch regions and the Pakistan coasts between Mandvi (Gujarat) and Karachi (Pakistan).
  • Maximum sustained wind speeds are forecasted to be 125-135 kmph, with gusts reaching up to 150 kmph.

Safety Measures and Contingency Plan:

  • The Sindh Building Control Authority and deputy commissioners will take necessary action regarding dangerous buildings, weak glass panels, and scaffolding.
  • Cranes and construction machinery installed in threatened areas will be removed.
  • Relief camps will be set up to provide facilities for evacuees.
  • Section 144 of the CrPC will be implemented, hoardings and signboards will be removed, and de-watering pumps will be installed in low-lying areas.

Additional Precautions:

  • The meeting emphasized the prevention of electrocution and falling of electricity poles.
  • A contingency plan was devised to address potential challenges arising from the cyclone’s impact.
  • A high alert was declared in major city hospitals, and control rooms were established to monitor the situation.
  • It was decided to run an awareness campaign in the local language to inform residents of the coastal areas of weather conditions and advise them against visiting the shorelines.

Plan for Balochistan

Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Director General (DG) Jahanzeb Khan has said that a plan has been made to tackle the rising threat of the cyclone in the coastal area of Balochistan, and more steps are being taken.

A meeting chaired by Khan decided to declare an emergency in the hospitals on an emergency basis and imposed a complete ban on going to the coastal area.

The district administration has also directed a ban on fishing, and fishermen were advised not to venture into the open sea during rough conditions and to remain extra cautious during the forecast period.

“Fishermen should avoid boating in the open sea. Follow and cooperate with local authorities in emergency situation,” it added.

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