Authorities on Friday said that Pakistan was “largely spared” as Cyclone Biparjoy weakened into a “severe cyclonic storm” after making landfall in India’s Gujarat, adding that the system was likely to weaken into a depression by evening.
Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said that the cyclone had completed landfall in India’s Gujarat. “Pakistan was prepared but largely spared the full force. Sindh’s coastal areas, like Sujawal, were inundated by high sea levels but most people had been evacuated to safe ground,” she said.
The minister also thanked all authorities concerned for a “stellar coordination effort”.
Meanwhile, the latest alert issued by the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said that Biparjoy had weakened into a “severe cyclonic storm” from a “very severe cyclonic storm”.
It said that the cyclone was at a distance of 200km east-southeast of Keti Bandar, 180km southeast of Thatta and 270km east of Karachi, adding that currently rough sea conditions prevailed over the Arabian Sea.
“The system is likely to weaken further into a cyclonic storm by noon and subsequently into a depression by evening,” the alert said.
It said that widespread rain/thunderstorm accompanied by squally winds were likely in Sindh’s Sujawal, Badin, Tharparker and Umerkot districts while heavy rain was likely in Thatta and Mirpurkhas districts today and tomorrow (Saturday).
Dust/thunderstorm-rain with few moderate falls and gusty winds likely in Karachi, Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allayar, Shaheed Benazirabad and Sanghar districts today, the alert said.
The weather alert said that a storm surge of 2-2.5 metres was expected along Keti Bandar and its surrounding areas, adding that sea conditions along the Sindh-Makran coast were likely to be rough.
It also advised fishermen to refrain from venturing out into the open sea until the system was over by June 17.
The PMD also released data of the amount of rainfall received over the last 24 hours. The data showed that the highest amount of rainfall was reported in Balochistan’s Barkhan and Zhob which received 45mm and 10mm, respectively.
In Sindh, Mithi received 41mm, Thatta 29mm, Diplo 29mm, Nagarparkar and Kaloi 16mm, Badin and Shaheed Benazirabad 10mm of rain.
The Civil Aviation Authority also issued a notice to airmen, or NOTAM, in light of the cyclone. The NOTAM said that take off and landing would not be permitted when the wind speed exceeded 30 knots at Karachi, Nawabshah, Moenjodaro and Sukkur airports.