Murad Ali Shah declares emergency along coastal belts
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has declared an emergency in all districts along the coastal belt.
“A control room should be established at the chief secretary’s office to keep close coordination with all the districts, in respect of their requirements and giving them necessary instruction on behalf of the government,” he said during a meeting on Saturday.
Pakistan Meteorological Department Director Sardar Sarfraz briefed the chief minister about the system that is expected to hit Pakistan’s coastal areas. He shared that it can cause three types of impact: torrential rains, thunderstorms, and strong winds. The main source of energy for tropical cyclones is the warm water in tropical regions, he said.
If the cyclone crosses India’s Gujrat, then its outer peripheral effect would be on Thatta, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar, Umerkot, and Sanghar districts. Thatta, Badin, and Mirpurkhas would receive a heavy rainfall of 70 to 90 mm each, Umerkot 80 to 100 while Tharparkar would receive very heavy rainfall of 230 to 250 mm.
In case the cyclone crosses west of Karachi, then its outer peripheral effect would be on Karachi, Hub, Lasbela, Hyderabad, and Jamshoro districts. Karachi may receive 60 to 80 mm rainfall, Hyderabad 30 to 50 mm, Jamshoro 150-170 mm, Dadu 180 to 200 mm, Bela and Sukkur 80 to 100 each, and Jacobabad 60 to 80 mm.
PDMA DG Salman Shah told the meeting that the depression has intensified into a cyclonic storm Tauktae and lay centered at 0800 PST on May 15 near latitude 12.7N and longitude 72.3E, at a distance of about 1460 km South-Southeast of Karachi. Maximum sustained winds around the system center are 90-110 Kmph gusting to 120 Kmph.
The system is likely to intensify further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm (SCS) during the next 12 to 18 hours and move in the north-northwest direction and reach Indian Gujarat by May 18. Under the influence of this system, widespread heavy to very heavy dust/thunderstorm-rains with gusty winds of 80-100 Kmph are likely to occur in Thatta, Badin, Thar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, and Sanghar districts from May 17 to 20.
Dust/thunderstorm-rains with few heavy falls and gusty winds of 50-70 Kmph are also likely in Karachi, Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Shaheed Benzirabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, and Dadu from May 18 to 20. The sea conditions would be rough to very rough and fishermen are advised not to venture in the sea from May 16 to 20.
CM orders clearing of all choking points
The chief minister has directed the administration in Karachi to start clearing all the choking points of nullahs. He directed Karachi Commissioner Naveed Shaikh and KMC Administrator Laiq Ahmed to start removing all billboards, neo-signs and ask the builders to take precautionary measures for the security of their under-construction buildings.
He directed PDSMA to provide dewatering machines, generators to the district administration in the city and in the other districts where required.
Shah directed fishermen not to go into the deep sea for fishing from tomorrow.
The Tharparkar district administration should take extraordinary measures because it was expected to receive very heavy rains, he said. All the district administrations should make alternate accommodation arrangements, in case shifting of the people becomes necessary.
The chief minister directed the chief secretary to seek the requirement of funds from the district administration and ensure timely releases.
The irrigation minister has been instructed to declare an emergency in his department and keep proper mentoring of the embankments of the canals and distributaries.
Local Government Minister Nasir Shah and Rehabilitation Minister Faraz Dero have been told to personally monitor the situation.