Authorities put on alert as Cyclone Biparjoy ‘moving towards’ Pakistan’s coastal areas

Published June 9, 2023
Sattelite imagery of Cyclone Biparjoy in the Arabian sea south of Pakistan.—PMD
Sattelite imagery of Cyclone Biparjoy in the Arabian sea south of Pakistan.—PMD

The government on Friday advised authorities in Sindh and Balochistan to remain alert as a “very severe” cyclonic storm, Biparjoy, over the Arabian Sea was reported to be moving towards Pakistan’s coastal areas.

According to an advisory issued by the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), Cyclone Biparjoy had changed its course and slowly tracked in the north-northeast direction during the past 12 hours.

It now lies near latitude 14.8°N and longitude 66.5°E at a distance of about 1,120km south of Karachi. “Maximum sustained surface winds are 130-150km/hour gusts and 160km/hour around the system centre.”

The advisory highlighted that the favourable environmental conditions including the sea surface temperature of 30-32°C, low vertical wind shear and upper-level divergence were still supporting the system to intensify further.

“Owing to the shift in upper-level steering winds, there is an uncertainty in the global model’s opinion regarding the track forecast of Biparjoy with some taking it to Oman-Pakistan western coast and others indicating towards Indian Gujarat-Pakistan Sindh coast.

“Considering this uncertainty, the system is likely to keep tracking further north/northeastward during the next two days,” the Met Office added.

Outlining the possible impacts of the cyclone, it advised fishermen not to venture into the open sea from Monday, June 12 until the system was over as the sea conditions might get rough accompanied by high tides along the coast.

“With its probable northeast track, the rain-thunderstorm with some heavy falls and squally winds are expected on the Sindh-Makran coast from June 13 night to June 14 morning,” the advisory added.

Meanwhile, Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman has alerted authorities.

“All relevant authorities, particularly PDMA Sindh and Balochistan, are advised to take stock of preparations and ensure public safety for communities in coastal areas,” she tweeted.

Separately, in a press release issued today, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said the developing situation was continuously being monitored by the National Emergencies Operation Centre.

“The Chairman NDMA instructed PDMAs to conduct a local-level needs assessment, deploy manpower and machinery, and work closely with relevant departments,” it said.

In the statement, the NDMA also urged the public to stay informed and follow local authorities’ guidance in any emergency situation caused by the cyclone.

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