Admin on toes, evacuation at brisk pace as BIPARJOY draws nearer

  • DG Rangers, Sindh CM review evacuation, preventive measures in coastal areas
  • Pakistan Navy evacuates 700 people from villages of Shah Bandar in Sujjawal
  • Dastgir claims cyclone poses no major risk to power infrastructure
  • NDMA, PDMA and other departments continuously ensure social media feed news update on cyclone situation

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Meteorological Department reported on Tuesday that the Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm (ESCS) “BIPARJOY” over northeast Arabian Sea moved further north-northwestward and slightly weakened into Very Severe Cyclonic Storm. It lies near Latitude 21.2°N & Longitude 66.6°E at a distance of about 410km south of Karachi.

According to a PMD report, the system is likely to keep tracking further in north direction during next 12 Hour. The tropical cyclone is likely to recurve on June 14 and Cyclone is likely to move north-east while it is likely to collide between Kati Bandar (south-east Sindh) and Indian Gujarat on 15th June (evening).

The maximum sustained surface winds are 140-150 km/hour, gusts 170 km/hour around the system center and sea conditions being phenomenal around the system center with maximum wave height 30 feet.

The favorable environmental conditions (sea surface temperature of 29-31°C, low vertical wind shear & upper-level divergence) are in support to sustain its strength through the forecast period. Under the existing upper-level steering winds, the VSCS “BIPARJOY” is most likely to track further northward until 14 June morning, then recurve northeastward and cross between Keti Bandar (Southeast Sindh) and Indian Gujarat coast on 15 June afternoon/evening as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) with packing winds of 100-120Km/hour. PMD’s cyclone warning center, Karachi is continuously monitoring the system and will issue update accordingly.

Possible Impacts

With its probable approach to the southeast Sindh coast, widespread wind-dust/thunderstorm rain with some very heavy/extremely heavy falls accompanied with squally winds of 80-100Km/hour gusting 120km/hour likely in Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Tharparker, Mirpurkhas & Umerkot districts during 13-17 June.

Dust/thunderstorm-rain with few heavy falls & accompanied with squally winds of 60-80 Km/hour likely in Karachi, Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allayar, Shaheed Benazirabad & Sanghar districts from 14 -16 June.

Squally (high intensity) winds may cause damage to loose & vulnerable structures (Katcha houses) including solar panels etc.

Storm surge of 3-3.5 meters (8-12 feet) expected at the land falling point (Keti Bandar and around) which can inundate the low-lying settlements. Fishermen have been advised not to venture in open sea till the system is over by 17 June, as the Arabian Sea conditions may get very rough/high accompanied with high tides along coast.

All concerned authorities have also been particularly advised to remain ‘ALERT’ during the forecast period.

Removal of billboards, loose installations in Karachi

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah Tuesday paid a surprise visit to the city to ensure the removal of billboards, neon signs, traffic sign boards, and other loose installations to avert damage or any untoward incidents during the cyclonic winds which are expected to lash the city on June 15.

Mr. Shah without protocol, accompanied by Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput and Commissioner Karachi Iqbal Memon started his visit right from Shahrah-e-Faisal opposite FTC building, at the nursery, near the airport the foundation/structure of the billboard was still fixed. The CM directed the commissioners to activate his deputy commissioners and DMCs to remove them.

The chief minister at Quaidabad visited an old building where not only people were living but billboards were hanging on its rooftop. Mr. Shah then and there got the board removed and asked the commissioner to shift the people to a secure place.

Mr. Shah then went to Chashman Goth, Rehri Goth, Ibrahim Hyderi, and Korangi Creek to review the shifting of the people from the area.

Evacuation from Karachi: Briefing the chief minister of the Commissioner said that the estimated population to be affected during Cyclone is around 40,000 and the suspected population to be shifted to Rescue Points is around 5000 to 10,000 thousand.

Lath Basti: Three buildings of educational institutions- Government Primary Schoo, Lath Basti, Degree College Cattle Colony, and Tsunami Center Lath Basi have been designated as relief camps.

Rehri & Dabla Para: TFC School Rehri, Govt hospital Rehri, Primary school Rehri, Wagoo Da, Tsunami Centre Rehri, would be relief camps.

Chashma Goth: TRelief Camps have been set up at sunami center Ali Mohammad Khaskheli Goth, Tsunami Center Jatt Para, Primary school Wagoo Darr-II, Secondary School Ali Mohammad Khaskheli village.

Ibrahim Hyderi: Tsunami Center Ibrahim Hyderi, Girls Degree College, Football Ground, and Ibrahim Hyderi Primary School.

The CM was told that shifting of the people have been started.

Evacuation from Thatta, Sujawal and Badin

The Commissioner Hyderabad informed the chief minister that the total vulnerable population of Thatta, Sujawal, and Badin is 85,022, of which 24105 have been evacuated. The evacuation process is in progress and by the late evening another 13,650 would be shifted to safe places. The total evacuation would come to 37,755 by Tuesday night. The details are as follows:

Thatta: Out of the 13,000 vulnerable population of Keti Bandar 6000 have been shifted to seven relief camps.

The vulnerable population of Gora Bari is around 5000, of them 2000 have been evacuated and housed at three camps.

Sujjawal: Sujawal has 36,560 vulnerable population of them 2578 have been shifted to 10 camps. Jati has 9027 people prone to the storm, of them 3027 have been evacuated and settled at four camps. Similarly, out of the 7936 vulnerable population of Kharochan, 3000 have been shifted.

Badin: Shaheed Fazel Rahu has 11000 vulnerable population of them 6500 have been shifted to eight camps. Out of the 2500 vulnerable population of Badin taluka, 1000 have been shifted.

Latest cyclonic storm situation: Commissioner Karachi Iqbal Memon briefing the chief minister said that the Severe Cyclonic Storm (BIPARJOY) over the Northeast Arabian Sea has further moved north-northwestward.

The cyclonic storm lies about 410km south of Karachi, and 400km south of Thatta. The sustained surface winds are 150-160 Km/hour gusts with 180 Km/hour around the system center and sea conditions are phenomenal around the system center with a maximum wave height of 30 feet. The environmental conditions (sea surface temperature of 29-30°C, low vertical wind shear & upper-level divergence) are in support to sustain its strength through the forecast period.

 

DG Rangers inspects situation in coastal areas

Director General (DG) Rangers Sindh, Major General Azhar Waqas visited the coastal areas on Tuesday as cyclone Biparjoy draws nearer to Pakistan.

A spokesperson for Sindh Rangers said that Major General Azhar Waqas visited the coastal areas in Thatta, Sujawal, Badin and Shah Bandar, the areas which are likely to be most affected by the cyclone.

The DG Rangers during the visit held meetings with the coastal sector and wing commanders to review arrangements for the evacuation in the area. The process of shifting people to safer places from the coastal belt is underway.

The Rangers and the civil administration are making an announcement on the loudspeakers for the general public to move to a safer place.

The spokesperson further said, DG Rangers further directed the sector commanders to help the civil administration in providing free medical camps, and relief goods to the people.

Earlier, Corps Commander Karachi, Lt. General Babar Iftikhar chaired an emergency conference in Badin to review precautionary measures in the wake of cyclone Biparjoy. The emergency conference was attended by the DG Rangers Sindh, GoC Hyderabad and other authorities concerned.

The Corps Commander Karachi was briefed by the authorities on the precautionary arrangements.

Sindh cancels all exams as cyclone nears Karachi

The Sindh government Tuesday cancelled all examinations from tomorrow (Wednesday) in the wake of the Very Severe Cyclonic System (VSCS) Biparjoy — which is expected to make its landfall between Karachi and India’s Gujarat on Thursday.

Issuing a notification in this regard, Karachi’s Assistant Commissioner Abid Qamar Shaikh said: “All examinations, education seminars, summer camps and education-related activities may be cancelled/rescheduled from 14th June 2023 till the end of the storm to avoid any loss of human lives and inconvenience to the general public.”

The notification said that the cyclone is likely to hit the coastal areas of Karachi Division and cause torrential rains or storms in the city.

 

Pak Navy evacuates 700 villagers in Shah Bandar, 64 fishermen rescued from sea

Pakistan Navy troops evacuated 700 personnel from various villages of Shah Bandar- a coastal town of district Sujjawal- while 64 fishermen have been rescued from sea.

PN Ships are patrolling and maintaining vigilance in open sea to render assistance to vessels in distress amid tropical cyclone Biparjoy, said a statement issued here on Tuesday.

Pakistan Navy has put all its available resources at high alert with requisite assets to provide assistance to the inhabitants of coastal areas of Sindh in case of any emergency amid the tropical cyclone.

A cyclone monitoring cell has been activated at Headquarters Commander Karachi for monitoring the developments and coordinating the responses, the spokesperson informed adding that PN Joint Maritime Information Coordination Center (JMICC) was relaying information at regular intervals to all stakeholders especially fishermen community so that they not to venture out to open sea in rough weather.

PN emergency response and medical teams have been deployed at Coastal areas of Balochistan and rural areas of Sindh including Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur and Sanghar for swift Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief missions. Meanwhile PN hospitals at Karachi are on high alert to deal with any emergency.

Besides closely monitoring the developments, the spokesperson said, Pakistan Navy was maintaining continuous liaison with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), provincial government and local administration to provide emergency assistance as and when required.

 

BIPARJOY poses no major risk to power infrastructure, measures ready for unimpeded power supply

On the other hand, Federal Minister for Power, Khurram Dastgir on Tuesday stated that there was no major risk to power infrastructure in the Sindh province due to tropical Cyclone BIPARJOY and all relevant measures were in place to ensure unimpeded power supply.

In a joint media briefing, the Federal Minister for Power was flanked by Federal Minister for Climate Change and Environmental Coordination Senator Sherry Rehman and Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt-Gen Inam Haider Malik provided a detailed account of decisions taken in a high level meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on intensifying Tropical Cyclone BIPARJOY.

Khurram Dastgir said liquified natural gas (LNG) shipments were not coming to Pakistan due to the severe cyclone as shipment schedules had been changed.

“Our power infrastructure at 1000km away from the cyclone have been impacted. We have decided that the gas supply has been diverted to power stations to continue energy production. Expected impacts like strong winds can impact our wind turbines in Chimb as the wind gusts beyond 90km/h can have effects on its functioning,” he added.

He added that the other critical area to be impacted was transmission lines at the local level and also major transmission lines due to cyclonic winds.

Moreover, the increased power infrastructure was also vulnerable like in South Thar 2,000 MW of energy has been installed, he said.

“We are prepared to manage that power outage.

The Prime Minister and Water Resources Minister have allowed increasing power production from Tarbela,” he informed.

Khurram Dastgir said in order to make up for the power shortage 48-96 hours oil production would be introduced for power generation.

Senator Sherry Rehman said the media briefing purpose was to update on the meeting with the prime minister.

She said all preventive measures were taken and relocation to continue all night from coastal areas.

“We are not taking any risk and exposing anyone to this situation whereas no medical emergencies reported yet,” she added.

However, Thatta and Badin were mostly selected for relocation whereas basic amenities like drinking water would be ensured as per the Prime Minister’s direction whereas Power Minister would be sent to Sindh to manage power outages.

She added that cyclonic winds had started and 24/7 monitoring was underway and would continue till June 18th.

“Shipping schedules have already been impacted whereas small crafts and fishermen were not taking advisories seriously. The small craft fishermen will have to return from open sea for their safety,” the Minister said.

She reiterated that there was no need to panic as government has taken in time action and issued timely alerts to the relevant departments.

“Evacuations help in saving lives and we will do it forcibly as it has been done in Keti Bunder. However, Karachites must not panic and take individual precautionary measures,” she added.

NDMA and other departments would continuously ensure social media feed news update on cyclone situation, she said.

The Minister informed that the Petroleum Minister was also directed to ensure smooth fuel supplies to the vulnerable areas whereas the government would have to manage schools and traffic during the course of.

 

 

Saleem Jadoon
Saleem Jadoon
News Editor at Pakistan Today

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