Cyclone Nilofar weakening

Published October 31, 2014
Warning sign has been displayed at Sea View due to cyclone Nilofar in the Arabian Sea. — Photo by Online
Warning sign has been displayed at Sea View due to cyclone Nilofar in the Arabian Sea. — Photo by Online

KARACHI: Although cyclone Nilofar appeared to be dying out on Thursday, it still has the potential of causing heavy rain with strong gusty winds in lower Sindh and the Lasbela coastline.

“The severe tropical cyclone (Nilofar) in the Arabian Sea has weakened rapidly and converted into a ‘cyclonic storm’,” said an advisory issued by the Met office on Thursday evening.

It was about 560km southwest of Karachi.

Also read: Pakistan's coastal areas brace for Cyclone Nilofar

“The cyclonic storm is likely to further weaken into a depression over the water in northeast Arabian Sea, near the coast of lower Sindh (Thatta) and the Indian state of Gujarat on Friday evening or night,” it said, adding that the cyclonic storm would continue to move north-eastward with a speed of 12km per hour over the next 24 hours.

On Thursday evening, the estimated central pressure of the storm was 996hpa and the average sustained wind speed of around 45-50 knots gusting up to 55 knots.

“Under the influence of the cyclonic storm, widespread rain and thundershowers with isolated heavy falls accompanied by strong gusty winds are expected in lower Sindh and the adjoining coast of Lasbela from Thursday night till Saturday. The sea conditions along Pakistan coast are likely to remain rough to very rough on Friday and Saturday, and fishermen of Sindh and Balochistan are advised not to venture in the sea,” the advisory said.

A senior Met official said the cyclone posed no more any serious threat to the coastal cities and towns, but there were strong chances of heavy rain in Karachi, Sajawal, Badin and Thatta in Sindh and Lasbela in Balochistan.

“The intensity of the cyclone has declined drastically, but it’s moving in the same direction – lower Sindh – from day one,” said Abdul Qayyum, director of tropical and cyclone warning centre at the Met office.

“It will further weaken after reaching 250km off Karachi likely on Friday night. The cyclone doesn’t even pose a threat to Indian Gujarat, but it’s strong enough to cause heavy rains in coastal cities with gusty winds,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Sindh government claimed to be fully prepared to meet the challenge.

“We have mobilised the disaster management of every district,” Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah told reporters during a visit to Karachi coastline.

He said the provincial government had released Rs10 million to every district for necessary arrangements and people were being evacuated from coastal villages.

“There is not much threat, but because of forecast of heavy rain we have prepared an emergency plan to drain out water in the districts where downpour is expected,” the chief minister said.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2014

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