Wednesday December 06, 2023

Cyclone intensifying, may hit Pakistan’s coastal belt by 15th

PMD says storm now lies at a distance of about 830km south of Thatta & 930km southeast of Ormara

June 11, 2023
A satellite image of the cyclonic storm present in the Arabian Sea taken in the morning of June 10. — PMD
A satellite image of the cyclonic storm present in the Arabian Sea taken in the morning of June 10. — PMD

KARACHI: The Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS), named Biparjoy, is likely to intensify into Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm (ESCS) for at least next 24 hours and likely to hit the coastal belt of southeast Sindh between Pakistan/Rann of Kutch-Indian Gujarat coasts by June 15.

The severe cyclone or cyclone with wind speed 90-105 kmph will hit the Pakistan coasts, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) officials said on Saturday.

“The favorable environmental conditions (sea surface temperature of 30-32C, low vertical wind shear and upper-level divergence) can intensify the system further into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm (ESCS) for at least next 24 hours. Existing models and climatic conditions indicate that the storm can make its landfall between southeast Sindh and Rann of Kutch on or around June 15, 2023,” Dr Sardar Sarfraz, Chief Meteorological Officer (CMO), Sindh, told The News.

Dr Sarfraz maintained that VSCS Biparjoy over east-central Arabian Sea was maintaining its intensity, further tracked north-northeastward during the past 12 hours and now lies near Latitude 17.3N & Longitude 67.4E at a distance of about 840 kms south of Karachi, 830 kms south of Thatta & 930 kms southeast of Ormara.

“Maximum sustained surface winds are 130-140 km/hour, gusts 150 km/hour around the system center and sea conditions being phenomenal around the system centre with maximum wave height 25-28 feet. Under the existing upper-level steering winds, the VSCS Biparjoy (pronounced as Biporjoy) is most likely to track further in north-northeast direction towards southeast Sindh-Indian Gujarat coast.”

The PMD official maintained that with its probable north-northeast track, the rain-thunderstorm with some very heavy falls and squally winds (60-80 Km/hour) are expected in southern/south-eastern Sindh (Karachi, Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Tharparkar and Mirpurkhas districts) from 13 June evening/night onwards.

“Squally (high intensity) winds may cause damage to loose & vulnerable structures (Kutcha houses). Storm surge of 3 meters (8-10 feet) can be possible,” he said while quoting the PMD Cyclone Advisory and advised fishermen not to venture into the open sea from tomorrow, 11 June 2023 onwards till the system is over as the Arabian Sea conditions may get very rough/high accompanied with high tides along coast.

On the other hand, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a similar bulletin regarding Biparjoy, predicting it to become an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm (ESCS) on the night between Saturday and Sunday and hitting Pakistani coast as Severe Cyclonic Storm with wind speed of 90-105 kmph on the evening of June 15, 2023.

Experts believe that Biparjoy’s track is almost similar to the 1999 Pakistan cyclone in May 1999, which caused around 6,400 deaths in Pakistan and India and caused severe devastation on Pakistan coast in southeast Sindh and called for evacuating people from the vulnerable areas to prevent any loss of lives.

Meanwhile, former DG PMD Dr. Ghulam Rasool said: “The tropical cyclone will reach category 5 intensity (extremely severe TC) in next 24 hours and will continue moving towards the Sindh coast. It is likely to make landfall between Badin and Indo-pak border. From 13 June, rainfall will increase from Karachi towards eastern coastal areas, with maximum on June 15, with gale winds exceeding 100 kms per hour speed and very heavy downpours.”

Meanwhile, the prime minister has directed that prior emergency measures should be taken in the wake of the cyclone Biparjoy, which was moving towards Karachi.

He asked the NDMA to make prior arrangements in collaboration with the Sindh government and provincial departments. He also directed that full assistance should be given to the people in the situation of rains and storms in Balochistan.