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Cyclone Tauktae: Massive dust storm hits Karachi

Sporadic showers reported in some areas too

SAMAA | - Posted: May 18, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
SAMAA |
Posted: May 18, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago

Photo: ONLINE

A massive dust storm hit Karachi Tuesday evening as Cyclone Tauktae neared coastal areas in Sindh.

Gusty winds blew through the city with sporadic showers in reported in some areas too.

Temperature in Karachi was recorded at 43°C Tuesday afternoon. But the weather changed all of a sudden in the evening.

Power supply to several areas was suspended after the storm hit the city. These areas included Malir, Shah Faisal Town, Tariq bin Ziyad Society, Model Colony, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Jackson Market, Orangi, Landhi and Korangi.

The Met Office earlier forecast there would be no rain in Karachi.

“We had predicted rain and storm in eastern Sindh,” DG Met Sindh Sardar Sarfaraz told SAMAA TV. “We also said in our every bulletin that storms can hit every city of the province.”

He said the dust storm and showers were caused by the cyclone, but there won’t be any massive rains in Sindh.

“We are not expecting heavy rains in Karachi,” he said. “The mercury will come down.”

Severe storms and climate change

The colossal swirling system dubbed Cyclone Tauktae is the latest in what experts say is a growing number of increasingly severe storms in the Arabian Sea as climate change warms its waters.

In India, it killed at least 27 people were dead and left almost 100 missing Tuesday, compounding the country’s woes as it recorded a new record number of coronavirus deaths in 24 hours.

Hundreds of thousands of people were left without power after the storm hit the Gujarat coast in western India Monday evening, leaving a trail of death and destruction.

Winds up to 130 kilometres (80 miles) per hour smashed seafront windows and knocked over power lines and thousands of trees, blocking roads leading to affected areas, officials said.

Last May, more than 110 people died after “super cyclone” Amphan ravaged eastern India and Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal.

The Arabian Sea previously experienced fewer severe cyclones than the Bay of Bengal but rising water temperatures because of global warming was changing that, Roxy Mathew Koll from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology told AFP.

“(The) Arabian Sea is one of the fastest-warming basins across the global oceans,” Koll said.

— With additional reporting by AFP

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