Severe Cyclonic Storm BIPARJOY Expected to Hit Pakistan and India, Alert Issued

Severe Cyclonic Storm BIPARJOY Expected to Hit Pakistan and India, Alert Issued

A severe cyclonic storm named BIPARJOY is forecasted to make landfall in Pakistan and India on June 16, 2023, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Pakistan.

The storm, initially categorized as an extremely severe cyclonic storm, is expected to maintain its intensity and transform into a very severe cyclonic storm as it approaches the coast.

The NDMA has urged authorities to stay vigilant and take proactive measures to minimize the potential impact of the cyclone. The current forecast indicates several possible impacts, including widespread wind, dust, thunderstorms, and heavy rainfall in various districts from June 13 to June 17.

The districts of Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Tharparkar, and Umerkot are expected to experience very heavy rainfall and gusty winds of 80-100 km/h. Additionally, districts such as Karachi, Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allayar, and Mirpurkhas may also witness dust storms, thunderstorms, and gusty winds with rainfall.

Coastal areas are at high risk of damage from squally and high-intensity winds, which may impact loose structures, kacha houses, under-construction buildings, trees, and billboards. The districts of Badin and Thatta face a significant threat of coastal flooding as the cyclone progresses and reaches the coastline.

Sea conditions are anticipated to deteriorate significantly, with maximum wave heights of 10.7-12.2 meters (35-40 feet) and high tides along the coast. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the open sea until June 17, 2023, due to the expected adverse conditions.

There is also a high risk of a storm surge measuring 3-3.5 meters (8-12 feet) along the coastline from Karachi to the Indian Gujarat region, especially at the landfall point in Keti Bandar and surrounding areas. This risk is further compounded by high tides occurring twice daily.

In response to the forecast, the NDMA has issued guidelines to various disaster management stakeholders, emphasizing the need for vigilant monitoring, prompt dissemination of accurate information, and proactive coordination through emergency operation centers. Communication channels such as television, radio, social media, and SMS alerts will be utilized to conduct extensive awareness campaigns and educate coastal communities about the potential impacts of the cyclone, emergency evacuation procedures, and safety measures.

Local communities are advised to engage in round-the-clock monitoring, adhere to directives from local administrations regarding emergency evacuation procedures, and exercise caution in coastal areas. Fishermen should strictly avoid venturing into the open sea until June 17, and measures should be taken to protect crops, livestock, and personal safety from the adverse effects of the cyclone.

Authorities are also urged to assess and prepare for potential damage to critical infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and utility services. Electric companies should implement safety measures to prevent electrical hazards and ensure the swift restoration of services in case of disruptions.

Hospitals have been advised to be on alert status and arrange alternate energy sources, such as generators, to ensure uninterrupted medical services. Precautionary measures, including dewatering plans for underpasses and maintenance of sewerage systems, are recommended to prevent urban flooding and waterlogging.

The NDMA has established the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) to monitor and coordinate response efforts for Cyclone BIPARJOY round the clock. Regular updates on the cyclone’s progress, potential impacts, and response measures are expected to be provided by all stakeholders.

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