The Pakistan Meteorological Department on Saturday issued an alert for Cyclone Tauktae, predicting rainfall and gusty winds in part of Sindh from May 17 (Monday) to May 20 (Thursday).
According to the alert, the depression over the southeast Arabian Sea has intensified into a cyclonic storm and lay centered at a distance of about 1,460km south-southeast of Karachi.
"Maximum sustained winds around the system centre are 70-90kmph, gusting to 100kmph. The system is likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during next 12-18 hours and move in north-northwest direction and reach Indian Gujarat by the morning of May 18," the Met department said.
According to present environmental conditions and under the influence of this system, widespread rain-dust/thunderstorm with few heavy to very heavy falls and gusty winds of 70-90kmph are likely to occur in Thatta, Badin, Thar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and Sanghar districts from May 17 to May 20.
"Rain-dust/thunderstorm with few heavy falls and gusty winds of 40-60kmph also likely in Karachi, Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Shikarpur, Jacobabad and Dadu from May 18 to May 20," the alert added.
"Sea conditions will be rough to very rough and fishermen are advised not to venture in the sea between May 16 and May 20," the Met department advised.
In a separate notification, the Met department also issued a heatwave warning for Karachi from May 16 to May 17.
"Hot/very hot weather is likely to occur during the next two days. Day time maximum temperature may rise to 40-42 degrees Celsius and winds likely to blow from northeast/east especially on May 16 and May 17.
"Tropical cyclone (Tauktae) has formed [...] at a distance about 1,460km south-southeast of Karachi. Maximum sustained wind around the centre 70-90kmph gusting to 100kmph," it said.
Murad declares emergency in coastal belt districts
Meanwhile, Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said that the Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had presided over a meeting regarding arrangements in anticipation of the cyclone.
During the meeting, Shah declared an emergency in all districts located along the coastal belt. “A control room should be established at the chief secretary's office to keep close coordination with all the districts,” he said.
The CM also directed the Karachi administrator and the commissioner to start removing all billboards and to ask builders to take precautionary measures for safeguarding under-construction buildings. He also told the city administration to start cleaning the choking points of storm-water drains.
He also directed the Tharparkar district administration to take extraordinary measures as the area was expected to receive heavy rainfall.
"All the district administrations should make alternate arrangements for accommodation, in case it becomes necessary to shift citizens," he said.