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Karachi sizzles as heatwave conditions to persist till Saturday

Updated June 14, 2019

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PEOPLE cool off at Seaview on Thursday, unmindful of the high waves and rough seas.—Shakil Adil / White Star
PEOPLE cool off at Seaview on Thursday, unmindful of the high waves and rough seas.—Shakil Adil / White Star

KARACHI: The sea breeze is likely to remain suspended till June 15 and heatwave conditions will prevail in the coastal areas of Sindh, including Karachi, states the heatwave alert issued by the Met department on Thursday.

The maximum and minimum temperature recorded in Karachi was 42°C and 30°C. Humidity levels dropped from 82 per cent in the morning to 39pc in the evening. The maximum temperature forecast for Friday in Karachi is 40-42°C.

According to Met officials, Karachiites would likely get respite from hot weather conditions caused by suspended sea breeze and high humidity once cyclone Vayu starts losing its intensity by June 16.

'None of Pakistan’s coastal areas is under threat from cyclone Vayu'

None of Pakistan’s coastal areas are under threat from the cyclone.

The maximum temperature recorded in some other districts was: Thatta 40.4, Badin 39°C, Hyderabad 40°C, Dadu 43°C, Sukkur 44°C, Jacobabad 45°C, Larkana 43°C and Nawabshah 41°C.

Cyclone status

The Met department also issued a tropical cyclone formation alert according to which “the very severe cyclonic storm in the East Arabian Sea has moved further north north-westward during the last six hours. It now [lies] at a distance of about 540km southeast of Karachi.

“The maximum sustained surface winds are 150-160 km/hour gusting to 175 km/hour around the system centre. It’s likely to continue to move in a north-westerly direction.

“Under the influence of this system, scattered dust/thundershowers are expected in southeast Sindh (Thatta, Badin and Tharparkar districts) on Friday. While isolated dust-thundershowers may occur in the rest of Sindh during the period,” the alert says.

The department advised fishermen not to venture in the open sea till Friday evening as the sea conditions are likely to be very rough/high.

Speaking to Dawn on the status of the cyclone, Sardar Sarfaraz representing the Met department said that the cyclone had changed its direction and was moving parallel to the Indian state of Gujarat.

“Vayu is still in the severe category and is likely to dissipate within the sea because the factors needed to sustain the cyclone are not there,” he said, adding that its effects in the form of high wind and wave action were being experienced along the Indian coast.

Asked about the possibility of rain along Sindh’s coast, he said that there were some media reports about light rain in Jati and dusty winds in Badin on Thursday.

“Karachi, however, would likely get relief by the evening of June 16 once it’s out of Vayu’s influence. The end of June is normally cloudy and windy so it’s hoped the city is back to its routine weather soon,” he said.

Power outages

In the midst of sizzling weather, several parts of the city remained without power for hours on Thursday as K-Electric resorted to unannounced loadshedding.

Reports pouring in from different parts of the city suggested that power supply remained suspended for two to three hours in a number of localities.

In some areas, power supply was disrupted for at least one hour.

However, a spokesperson for the power utility asserted that there were neither reports of extended power outages from any part of the city nor the duration of loadshedding had been extended.

He said that soaring temperatures during peak summer had led to a sharp increase in the demand for electricity.

“However, reduction in gas pressure has affected the generation capacity of some of K-Electric’s power plants which has led to the need for load management in certain areas and KE apologises to its customers for the inconvenience,” he added.

Yet a Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) statement denied the KE claim that the shortage of gas supply had impacted power generation.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2019