KARACHI: Cyclone Nilofar in the Arabia Sea which is now classified as ‘very severe’ is currently 870 KM away from Karachi in the southwest and 740 KM away from Gwadar in the south.
A high-alert has been declared in the coastal areas of Thatta and Badin while Section 144 had earlier been imposed along the coastal belt of Sindh.
The cyclone is expected to move at a speed of 12 KM/Hr during the next 12 hours and rain along with strong winds are expected in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan from Wednesday till Friday.
Fishermen have been warned to return to shore and refrain from travelling to the open sea during these days.
According to accuweather.com landfall is expected Saturday night near the border of Pakistan and India. Interaction with increased wind shear and dry continental air from Asia will cause the cyclone to rapidly weaken as it approaches Pakistan and India. Tropical storm-force wind gusts are only expected near the coast, as localized flooding appears to be the biggest concern with this storm.
Commissioner Karachi, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui said that 80 relevant departments and institutions including the Karachi Port Trust and Coastguards have been put on high alert through Rescue 1299 in the wake of possible risks posed by Cyclone Nilofar.
The commissioner informed that government buildings and schools have been evacuated for the shifting of residents of coastal areas to safer places.
He said especial arrangements are being made in coastal areas of Ibrahim Haideri, Malir and Korangi.
Shoaib Siddiqui further said the cleaning of storm-water drains and removal of dangerous billboards from city roads has started.
The commissioner said that the provincial government’s first priority is to save lives and for these purposes arrangements for relief activities in Hawksbay, Sandspit, Bababhit Manora and Ibrahim Haideri have been completed.
KMC Administrator, Rauf Akhtar Farooqui said the city administration is taking all possible effective steps for the safety of the people, adding that joint actions by the KMC and the Cantonment Board are being taken to remove billboards along Shahrah-e-Faisal and in the areas in KMCs jurisdiction.
He said that a state of emergency has been declared at all hospitals of the KMC and the Sindh government while the leave of doctors and paramedical staff has been cancelled.
The administrator said that KMC staff have been put on high alert in view of any possible risks.