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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Weather office warns of floods as India, Pakistan brace for cyclone

On Wednesday, the storm Biparjoy was situated in the Arabian Sea about 280 km (174 miles) from Jakhau Port in the Indian state of Gujarat and 340 km from Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Roads will be flooded along parts of India’s western coast, crops could be damaged and some houses destroyed when a very severe cyclonic storm makes landfall late on Thursday, the country’s weather department said.

On Wednesday, the storm Biparjoy was situated in the Arabian Sea about 280 km (174 miles) from Jakhau Port in the Indian state of Gujarat and 340 km from Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Read more: Tropical Cyclone “BIPARJOY” intensifies into “Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm” of Category-3

As heavy rain already began pounding coastal regions, authorities evacuated thousands of people.

Pakistan’s Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said Karachi, a city of 20 million people, was not under immediate threat, but emergency measures were being taken to deal with accompanying winds and rain that are expected to batter the economic hub.

The IMD criteria for cyclones classified Biparjoy as a category one storm, the least severe on its one-to-five scale.

The disaster management agency said Thursday that the cyclone was packing sustained winds of up to 120 kph (about 75 mph) and was projected to hit Pakistan’s Sindh province, the site of one of historic deadly floods last summer. At least 1,739 people were killed and 33 million were displaced in 2022 when climate-induced floods swept the country, causing $30 billion in damage.

Read more: Biparjoy Cyclone likely to hit Pakistan on 15th June

Thursday morning, authorities said that the storm had lost some of its intensity and was expected to have a maximum sustained wind speed of between 115 kph and 125 kph (71 mph to 78 mph), gusting up to 140 kph (87 mph), a slight decrease in predictions a day earlier.

The Indian Meteorological Department said the cyclone was bearing down on Jakhau port, where it is likely to make landfall on Thursday evening.