Pakistan's meteorological agency has said that a ferocious cyclone in the Arabian Sea is unlikely to make landfall in the country, but authorities in the coastal areas in Sindh and Balochistan have been advised to be on alert to ensure public safety.
Biporjoy was located by Friday night at around 1,120km away from Karachi, about the same distance between Karachi and Lahore, the Express Tribune reported quoting the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) experts.
“Biporjoy has changed its course and slowly tracked in the north-northeast direction during the last 12 hours,” the PMD said, adding that it was about 1,120km south of Karachi.
“Maximum sustained surface winds are 130-150 km/h gusts and 160km/h around the system’s centre,” it added.
PMD experts suggested that Cyclone Biporjoy was unlikely to make landfall on the Pakistani coastal belt, but it might touch the Makran coast.
Some meteorological instruments suggested that the cyclone would affect the west coast of Oman and Pakistan, while others indicated a potential impact on the coastal belt of Sindh and Gujarat in India.
“Owing to the shift in upper-level steering winds, there is an uncertainty regarding the track forecast of Biporjoy, with some taking it to Oman-Pakistan western coast and others indicating towards Indian-Gujarat and Pakistan-Sindh coast,” the PMD said.
However, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the chief disaster control body of the government, was not taking chances and in the wake of a “very severe” cyclonic storm, advised relevant authorities in Sindh and Balochistan to remain alert.
It also advised fishermen not to venture out to the sea till June 13. The PMD also advised the fishermen to avoid venturing to the open sea from June 12, as the conditions in the Arabian Sea might prove hazardous for fishing due to the storm and high tides that could occur along the coast.
The PMD predicted that rain accompanied by thunder was expected on the coasts of Sindh and Makran from the night of June 13.
Additionally, the coastal areas of Balochistan and Sindh might experience strong winds due to other associated impacts.
Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said in a tweet: “All relevant authorities, particularly PDMAs (Provincial Disaster Management Authorities) of Sindh and Balochistan, are advised to take stock of preparations and ensure public safety...” The NDMA said in a statement that the developing situation was being monitored by the National Emergencies Operation Centre (NEOC), while the provincial disaster control bodies had been instructed to conduct a local-level needs assessment.
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