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June 11, 2019

Cyclone near Indian Gujarat to bring heatwave for Karachi: PMD

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June 11, 2019

KARACHI: A deep depression in the southeast Arabian Sea, some 1,500 kilometers away from the Karachi coast has converted into a ‘tropical storm’, national and international meteorologists said on Monday, adding that although the cyclone was ‘most likely’ to hit the Indian state of Gujrat, it could result in a moderate heat wave for Karachi with very low chances of rain in the coastal areas of Sindh.

“The Joint Typhoon Warning Center of United States has declared that a deep depression in the east Arabian Sea has strengthened into a tropical cyclone at a distance of about 1500 km South of Karachi. The system is likely to move initially north/northwest-ward and strengthen further into a severe tropical cyclone during next 36 hours. Currently none of Pakistan's coastal area is under any threat from this system”, Chief Met Karachi Abdur Rashid told The News on Monday. “However, the fishermen of Sindh are advised to remain alert and not to venture in deep sea. The authorities and stakeholders are requested to remain abreast of the weather updates through PMD website,” he maintained. The PMD officials said they were closely monitoring the cyclonical activity in the Arabian sea for last few days and claimed that it was unlikely to hit the coastal areas of Sindh or bring any substantial rain for Pakistani coastal belt. “Cyclone is more likely to bring a moderate heat wave by the end of this week with temperature rangingup to 40 degrees Celsius with high humidity”, the Chief Met Karachi said, adding due to high levels of humidity, the real feel could be very uncomfortable for the people.

A similar situation had developed in June 2015 when a well-marked low pressure area in the Arabian Sea resulted in a five-day long extreme heat wave in Karachi. The heat wave coupled with fasting month of Ramzan, persistent power outages and scarcity of water had resulted in over 3000 deaths in the city. Many other national and international meteorologists have also claimed that the ‘deep depression’ has intensified into a tropical cyclone, saying it is set to hit the Indian state of Gujarat and the Rann of Kutch desert region by the weekend. As the system gains more strength and intensifies into a cyclone, it is likely to be named as Cyclone Vayu—a name given by Indian meteorologists, experts said adding that Vayu could easily intensify into a category-3 cyclone.

The Met experts say cyclonic activity in the Arabian sea starts in May and continues till June, prior to the monsoon season and resume in September and October at the end of rainy season, adding for the last few years, both the intensity and frequency of the cyclones has increased manifold due to climate change. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) officials said they are keeping a close eye on the cyclone's track and added there is no need of panic in the coastal areas of Sindh. The PMD officials further said the weather is likely to remain warm and humid in the days ahead with temperature ranging between 35-37 degrees Celsius but added that due to high humidity, the real feel could be very high.

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