The Sindh government has decided to evacuate residential areas and other human settlements located near the coastal areas of Sindh, including Badin and Thatta. This decision comes as Cyclone Biparjoy, a powerful weather system looming over the Arabian Sea, poses threats.
The cyclone came within 500km of Karachi on Tuesday, with winds in the storm travelling between 180 to 200 km/h.
According to the latest update from the Pakistan Meteorological Department, Cyclone Biparjoy, also known as ESCS Biparjoy, has tracked further northward over the past 12 hours. It currently lies near Latitude 19.5N, longitude 67.6E, at a distance of about 600km south of Karachi and 580km south of Thatta.
The cyclone is likely to continue moving north until June 14, and then turn northeast, crossing between southeast Sindh and Indian Gujarat on June 15 at noon.
The Met Office has classified Biperjoy as a severe storm, showing no signs of weakening. Winds in the centre of the storm are blowing at a speed of 180 to 200 kilometres per hour, while the sea surface temperature ranges from 30 to 32 degrees Celsius.
However, waves have reached heights of 30 to 40 feet in the centre of the storm.
Thatta, Sajawal, and Badin are currently facing the highest risk from the approaching storm, leading to severe fear and panic among the residents.
In response, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, accompanied by Minister Nasir Shah and DG PDMA Salman Shah, conducted an aerial visit to the coastal regions of Sajawal, Thatta, and Badin.
During the visit, the officials received a detailed briefing from the authorities regarding the impending cyclone. The briefing highlighted that the cyclone is expected to make landfall on June 15, with its impact gradually reducing by June 18. It was further said the Biparjoy’s impact would result in a 4 to 5-meter surge in the sea, potentially affecting areas far inland.
In preparation for the storm, evacuation efforts have been initiated. People from Bhagada Memon village in Badin’s zero point have already been relocated, while plans are underway to evacuate approximately 50,000 individuals residing near Shah, Jati, and Keti Bandar.
Notably, around 2,000 people from the islands of Shah Bandar have already been evacuated and moved to safer locations. However, there is concern regarding the lack of measures to evacuate residents living on offshore islands, leaving them vulnerable to impending danger.
However, residents in the aforementioned areas have expressed their dissatisfaction with the lack of measures taken to initiate the evacuation of individuals living on offshore islands. This has left them in a vulnerable position, as they face the impending danger without necessary evacuation plans in place.
Furthermore, the absence of established relief camps raises significant concerns about the readiness to rescue and provide support to affected citizens.