About 80,000 people along the southern coast of the Pakistan, are expected to be evacuated by the Pakistani Army and Civil Authorities to safer places, and thousands of civilians in neighboring India to seek refuge ahead of Cyclone Biparjoy, officials disclosed.
The hurricane is expected to make landfall in the heavily populated area on Thursday. The cyclone follows a disastrous flood that battered Pakistan last year, killing 1,739 people and incurring $30 billion in damages. Cyclone Biparjoy has been tipped to be the strongest hurricane to strike western India and Pakistan since 2021.
According to India Meteorological Department, Biparjoy has sustained winds in excess of 180 kph. It is anticipated to land in the Gujarati Kutch district close to Jakhau port. The cyclone would be 470 kilometers south of Karachi, the capital of Sindh province, Pakistan National Disaster Management Authority stated.
Many people in low-lying areas of India have been evacuated, including Gujarat citizens who lived just 5 kilometers away from the coastline. Officials have warned that, if necessary those within 10 kilometers of the coastline should vacate the place in the next two days.
20,580 residents of Gujarat’s coastal districts have been relocated “to relief camps where they will be provided with food, drinking water, and other necessities,” according to C. C. Patel, Director of Relief for the state government.
Also, authorities prohibited rallies near coastlines and beaches, as the cyclone occurred. All ports, including the two biggest ports in India, Mundra and Kandla, have been closed out of an abundance of caution. Government representatives in Gujarat disclosed that, one woman died and her husband severely injured, when a tree felt on their motorbike as a result of severe winds.
Additionally, four boys were lost in the high tide off Juhu Beach in Mumbai on Monday evening, in the neighboring state of Maharashtra. Officials reported that, three people are still missing and that, a body had been found. Mumbai beaches have been restricted by officials as a result of high tide. Fishermen have been urged to stay on land, and shift their boats to more secure areas.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that, he presided over a meeting to assess their readiness to the cyclone. “Our teams are ensuring safe evacuation from vulnerable areas and ensuring maintenance of essential services. Praying for everyone’s safety and well-being,” the President said.
According to Sharjeel Memon, the Sindh province’s Communications Minister, authorities in Pakistan with the support of the military, have so far evacuated 22,000 people from coastal cities. Before the typhoon makes landfall on Thursday, the remaining 80,000 people are expected to be relocated.
Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change, stated during a news conference that the cyclone was predicted to reach some of the places where many were killed by floods last summer. She said that, measures would be taken to quickly evacuate residents of coastal areas and that after conditions gets better, the government would do its best to facilitate their return.
According to experts, climate change has caused a rise in cyclones in the Arabian Sea region, thus making it even more necessary to initiate plans for catastrophic disasters. Though Pakistan contributes less than 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, the country is one of the most impacted by climate change.
The most recent powerful cyclone, that made landfall in this area was Cyclone Tauktae in 2021. It claimed 174 lives, a comparatively low number made possible by thorough planning prior to the typhoon.
Also, the cyclone that struck Gujarat in 1998 killed over 1,000 people, and left behind extensive devastation. Again, more than 10,000 people lost their lives in a cyclone that struck Karachi and the state of Sindh in 1965.
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