Evacuation begins as cyclone Biparjoy moves closer to Pakistan

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KARACHI, JUN 12: The Sindh government Monday kicked off the evacuation drive from the coastal areas of Badin in the wake of fast-approaching cyclone Biparjoy, moving the residents to safe places in order to avoid any loss of life.

The government had decided to evacuate the residential areas and other human settlements near the coast of Sindh as the risk of tropical cyclone Biparjoy present in the Arabian Sea escalates.

Currently, the Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm (ESCS) lies about 600 kilometres south of Karachi, 580km south of Thatta, and 710km southeast of Ormara, after moving further northward during the last 12 hours.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah — along with Local Bodies Minister Nasir Shah, Sindh Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput — visited Shah Bandar area of the district.

After the visit, the chief minister headed a meeting to review arrangements for mitigating the impact of Biparjoy in the coastal belt at 31 Creek Conference Room in Sujawal.

While briefing the CM on the evacuation work, the Hyderabad commissioner said that the evacuation began from Badin’s zero-point village Bhagra Memon and at least 2,000 people have been evacuated from the island of Shah Bandar.

A total of 50,000 people will be evacuated from the villages of Shah Bandar, Jati, and Keti Bandar.

The chief minister was informed that Biparjoy will hit the coast of Sindh on June 15, but its intensity will subside by June 17 to 18.

However, the seawater will surge as the wavelength will rise up to 4 to 5 metres when the storm hits, he added.

The decision to evacuate areas was taken on Sunday in a meeting chaired by Karachi Commissioner Iqbal Memon, where the participants discussed the preemptive measures regarding the cyclonic storm.

The meeting was attended by Sindh Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfaraz, alongside other relevant officials.

The authorities concerned have been directed to implement the evacuation plan in coordination with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) by tomorrow (June 13), when the storm is likely to hit the coast.

Baba Bhit, Mubarak Village, Ibrahim Hydri Village, harbour, and other low-lying areas and villages along the coastal belt are included in the evacuation plan.

The meeting directed the Keamari, Malir, South, and Korangi deputy commissioners to ensure that all the residents of the said areas have been evacuated by the deadline, and shifted to safe places or relief camps set up for the facilitation of evacuees.

Other key decisions

Moreover, directives for the evacuation from “dangerous buildings” have also been issued.

The Sindh Building Control Authority and the deputy commissioners will take “necessary action with regard to the dangerous buildings, building with a weak glass panels, scaffolding at around under construction buildings […]”.

The cranes and other construction machinery installed anywhere in the areas under threat will also be removed.

The evacuees will be provided will all facilities during their stay in the relief camps.

Other key decisions taken in the meeting were the implementation of Section 144 of the CrPC, removal of hoardings and signboards, solar panels, installation of de-watering pumps in the low lying areas and choking points, prevention of electrocution and falling of electricity poles and devising of a contingency plan.

During the meeting, the commissioner alerted all city departments to deal with the threat of Cyclone Biparjoy. He ordered all the relevant bodies to complete their preparations to deal with the aftermath of the cyclone.

Directives to declare high alert in all major city hospitals and establishment of control rooms had also been given.

Biparjoy may hit Pakistan’s coast by June 15
Cyclone Biparjoy is likely to hit the coastal belt of southeast Sindh between Pakistan/Rann of Kutch-Indian Gujarat coasts by June 15 afternoon as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS), officials said on Sunday evening.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said that the cyclone could cause strong winds, torrential rains, and floods in coastal areas of the province.

The NDMA directed the authorities concerned to run an awareness campaign in the local language to inform residents of the coastal areas of weather conditions and advise them against visiting the shorelines.

“Fishermen should avoid boating in the open sea. Follow and cooperate with local authorities in emergency situation,” it added.