Biparjoy makes landfall along India-Pakistan border, not reached Keti Bandar yet

Published June 15, 2023
Cyclone Biparjoy’s current position and projected route.—Zoom Earth
Cyclone Biparjoy’s current position and projected route.—Zoom Earth

The landfall of Cyclone Biparjoy, currently classified as a “very severe cyclonic storm”, commenced along the Indian Gujarat coast and the Pakistan-India border at 7pm on Thursday, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).

The PMD said the landfall would be complete by midnight.

It added that maximum sustained surface winds were blowing at 100-120km/hour and gusts at 130km/hour around the system’s centre while sea conditions remained rough/phenomenal with a maximum wave height of 20-25 feet.

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) too said in its latest bulletin that the “landfall process is continuing and by midnight it will be completely over the land. Part of the eye (of cyclone) is over the land.”

Strong winds and heavy rain lashed coastal areas of Pakistan and India as the cyclone made the landfall, the weather office said.

Chief Meteorologist at PMD Sardar Sarfaraz also told that various areas in Sindh had been receiving rain and experiencing strong winds under the impact of this weather system.

He said the cyclone had not directly hit any of the areas in Pakistan as of Thursday night. “However, some of the areas in the country came under its outer periphery.”

Key developments

  • PMD says landfall of cyclone has commenced, Biparjoy now at 245km south of Karachi, 200km south of Thatta and 150km south-southwest of Keti Bandar
  • Cyclone has not hit any areas in Pakistan yet, says chief meteorologist
  • Over 80,000 people have been evacuated; possibility of another cyclone in July; rain reported across Sindh
  • Sindh CM puts administrations of Karachi, Hyderabad on alert
  • 100,000 people evacuated in India’s western state of Gujarat

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) tweeted that the cyclone had yet not reached Keti Bandar, which is at a distance of 150km from Indian Gujarat, and its impacts in Pakistan would only be certain after further development.

In another tweet posted at 11:35pm, the NDMA said the cyclone had not veered towards Keti Bandar until then.

Citing the (IMD) update, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said the cyclone was “still at a distance from Pakistan, and will likely begin counterclockwise landfall around or after midnight in our coastal areas. The sea may be rough with high waves at the core. Please stay safe,” she added.

As the cyclone’s landfall began, Sherry urged the people not to panic, assuring them that all preparations to deal the situation were in place.

“Don’t go out to ‘see the storm’ or venture into the water. Sindh police has better things to do right now than plead for picnickers to come back to dry land,” she tweeted.

PMD forecast

In its latest alert, the PMD said the cyclone now lies near latitude 22.9°N and longitude 68.2°E at a distance of about 245km south of Karachi, 200km south of Thatta, and 150km south of Keti Bandar.

It said the under the impact of the cyclone, widespread rain and thunderstorm, as well as some heavy/very heavy falls accompanied by squally winds blowing at 80-100km/hour, were likely in Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Tharparkar, Mirpurkhas and Umerkot districts till 17 June.

It further predicted dust/thunderstorms and rain, with a few heavy falls, accompanied by gusty winds blowing at 30-50km/hour in Karachi, Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allayar, Shaheed Benazirabad, and Sanghar districts on tonight and Friday.

“Squally winds may cause damage to loose and vulnerable structures (kutcha houses) in Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Tharparkar and Umerkot districts,” the forecast said.

The weather alert said storm surges of 6-8 feet were expected along Keti Bandar and its surrounding areas, which could inundate the low-lying areas.

Meanwhile, sea conditions along Sindh-Makran coast will likely remain rough/ very rough and fishermen are advised not to venture in open sea till the system is over by 17 June, the PMD said.

‘100mm of rainfall’ expected in Karachi

Addressing a press conference alongside NDMA Chairman Lt Gen Inam Haider earlier today, Rehman said Karachi would experience heavy rainfall and strong winds but would not be directly impacted by the cyclone.

Rehman also stated that there were 90 electricity feeders in coastal areas and there were chances of power failure when the cyclone made landfall. “Therefore, teams have been called in from Punjab for assistance in repair work.”

Regarding flight operations, the minister said airports had been given told to suspend commercial flights at airports in Karachi, Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Sukkur, and Moenjo Daro if the air pressure crossed the threshold of 30 nautical knots.

Separately, Rehman took to Twitter and shared a PMD report, saying that over 100mm of rainfall was predicted in Karachi, Hyderabad, Tando Mohammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Dadu, Shaheed Benazirabad, and Sanghar.

Meanwhile, over 300mm of rainfall was predicted in Thatta, Sajawal, Mirpurkhas, Badin, Umerkot, and Tharparkar between June 15-17.

Showers in Sindh

As the cyclone inches closer to Sindh’s coastline, rains were reported in several areas across the province today.

According to DawnNewsTV, light showers were recorded in Karachi’s Clifton, Defence Housing Authority, Sharea Faisal, Keamari and other areas.’s correspondent in Shah Bandar, a port town located at a distance of 200km from Hyderabad, said heavy rains commenced at 2pm and continued throughout the day in intervals.

He also said that the seawater had entered several houses in the town, which is situated near creeks that receive water from the Arabian Sea.

Light showers with strong winds were also reported in Badin, Chuhar Jamali, Hyderabad, Thatta and Sujawal, correspondent added.

Earlier, the climate change minister said villages in Shah Bandar had been vacated and residents had been moved to relief camps.

 The photo shows downpours in Sindh’s Badin. — DawnNewsTV
The photo shows downpours in Sindh’s Badin. — DawnNewsTV

Talking to, Dean of Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tandojam Dr Altaf Siyal warned that the province’s coastal areas were likely to be impacted by the cyclone.

He said the eye of the storm would pass over Shakoor Lake — situated on the border between the Indian state of Gujarat and Sindh — and its effects would be seen in Sindh’s coastal areas.

‘More than 80,000 people evacuated’

According to the government, 81,935 people in vulnerable areas had been relocated with the help of the Pakistan Army, Navy, Rangers, and police.

At the moment, 63 evacuation camps were active while 106 were on standby, the climate change minister said.

“We are ensuring the provision of cooked food and clean water at relief camps, which are the most essential. But we have also alerted medical teams and 86 units have been deployed in the field,” Rehman added.

Speaking on Geo News programme ‘Geo Pakistan’ on Thursday morning, she said that Biparjoy was a category three cyclone and 10 days ago nobody knew where it was headed.

She further said that all government institutions had taken the threat seriously, adding that the cyclone had tracked eastwards during the past four days.

Rehman urged the public to “show unity” and avoid heading to the sea. “We have seen this a lot when people head to the beach to watch the cyclone. Our advice is to not even sit by the window,” she said.

She said that these were not “natural climatic conditions”.

“I have also been warned that maybe, just maybe another cyclone will head towards us in July,” she said, adding that she did not wish to spread panic.

No major electricity breakdown reported, says energy minister

In a press conference in Hyderabad today, Energy Minister Khurram Dastagir said no major electricity breakdown had been reported amid the cyclone situation.

He said he was visiting areas along the coastal belt to evaluate the cyclonic situation on the directives of the prime minister.

Dastagir told media persons that eight poles and two electricity towers had collapsed in the Jhampir and Laadiyon areas of the Sujawal district. “We have started repair work to restore the power supply,” he stated.

The minister went on to say that the Ministry of Energy and Hyderabad Electricity Supply Corporation (HESCO) had devised a comprehensive strategy to overcome likely electricity failure in the cyclonic situation.

In this connection, around 2,000 volunteers had been called in from Punjab to assist in restoration and rehabilitation work.

Dastagir also regretted that the storm had had adverse impacts on shipping activities at Port Qasim, particularly on the arrival of regasified liquefied natural gas.

Administration put on alert in Karachi, Hyderabad

The Sindh government has put district administrations in Karachi and Hyderabad on high alert to cope with any untoward situation arising out of Cyclone Biparjoy, a Radio Pakistan report said.

In a statement issued today, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah directed the commissioners, police chiefs, and deputy inspector generals of both cities to remain alert.

Separately, the Sindh Provincial Disaster Management Authority also directed the deputy commissioners and the chairmen of the District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMA) in Karachi division and the districts of Matiari, Badin, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Thatta, Sujawal, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar and Umerkot to take necessary “mitigation measures”.

Officials were told to ensure vigilant monitoring of the cyclone and to coordinate with the Provincial Emergency Operation Centre (PEOC). They were also told to arrange rescue boats and transport in order to evacuate people from low-lying areas.

The authority directed them to ensure fallen trees, wires and “other loose objects” were removed, while also ensuring that residents were evacuated from weak residential structures or mud houses. It also told the to identify high-risk areas prone to storm surges, flooding and prepare evacuation plans accordingly.

The officials were also directed to evacuate residents from coastal locations, ensure cleaning of stormwater drains, ensure pumping stations were operational and to remove all bill boards.

Further, they were asked to conduct a public awareness campaign about the cyclone’s probable effects as well as safety measures.

“Keep fishermen informed of the weather conditions and advise them not to venture into open sea until the situation improves,” the directives said.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was also briefed on the latest situation arising out of the cyclone.

A handout issued by the CM Office said, Shah was told that 76,925 people had been evacuated in Badin, Sujawal and Thatta while a total of 44 relief camps had been set up.

India braces for cyclone

Meanwhile, authorities in India’s western state of Gujarat have evacuated more than 100,000 people from vulnerable coastal communities.

Indian television footage showed high waves in many coastal areas of Gujarat, coupled with heavy rain and strong wind.

Auditorium halls in schools and other government buildings were converted into relief camps to provide shelter to displaced people in both India and Pakistan.

Indian authorities suspended fishing until Friday, closed down schools and banned people from using beaches.

Many offshore oil installations and major ports, which line the coasts of Gujarat, have suspended operations.

Additional input from Reuters and APP


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