Commissioner Karachi declares holiday
Rains will continue in Karachi till October 2 and in Balochistan till October 3 but the risk of urban flooding has dissipated, said the Met Office’s Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfaraz on Friday morning.
However, based on Thursday night information it was declared that all Sindh educational institutes — including private and public sector schools and colleges — businesses and offices will remain closed on Friday in view of the heavy rain forecast (which has since been taken back).
Sarfaraz clarified that it is not correct to call it Cyclone Gulab after it hit the Indian coast and made landfall. “[The new system] can become a cyclone in the next six to eight hours,” he told Naya Din on Friday morning at 9:30am. “It is at a deep depression stage. It will be given a new name.” There was never any claim that it would make landfall in Karachi. In fact the system is moving towards Balochistan.
He said that the system was still far away from Karachi. “There is no risk of urban flooding in Karachi,” he said.
The rain will continue Friday and Saturday. It will be moderate. The alert stays in place for fishermen, however, he said. They cannot go for the next three days because it will be stormy.
Western Sindh such as Jamshoro, Dadu and Thatta may see heavy spells. The cyclone orientation dictates the forecast. If its track is away from you it won’t rain too much, he explained. Till Thursday it appeared to be close, but that is not the case now.
“Keeping in view the situation resulting from expected tropical cyclone & the rainfall, it has been decided that Friday the 1st of October will be a public holiday,” said Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab. “All offices, educational institutions & businesses except essential services shall remain remain closed in Karachi.”
Commissioner Karachi has declared a holiday as the city prepares to cope with rains and possible urban flooding, SAMAA TV reported.
The commissioner has issued a notification stating all educational institutions, offices, and businesses shall remain closed, it said. All hoardings and billboards in Karachi should be removed immediately, added a notification.
Earlier, Sindh Education Minister announced that schools and college would not open.
Heavy rains are likely to continue in Karachi today, the Meteorological Department said early morning Friday but this forecast changed shortly after. A low air pressure system could turn into a hurricane, added the Meteorological Department forecast note.
The All Sindh Private Schools and Colleges Association (ASPSCA) was the first to made an announcement about schools closure on Thursday.
Sindh Education Minister Sardar Shah finally announced a holiday for schools and colleges by midnight. Commissioner Karachi’s notification came late night.
“The Education Department announces a holiday across the Sindh province in view of heavy rains tomorrow,” the minister tweeted.
Shah said all public and private schools and colleges will remain closed on Friday, according to the tweet.
ASPSCA Chairman Haider Ali said they had made the decision after parents expressed concerns over reports of possible urban flooding in the city.
He said schools and colleges would open in other Sindh cities where clear weather conditions prevailed.
The Met Department has forecast thunderstorm on Friday and Saturday as a weather system, described as a remnant of Cyclone Gulab, moves towards Karachi.