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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has completed the evacuation of 82,000 people in affected coastal belt areas of very severe cyclonic storm (VCSC) Biparjoy and shifted to safer places.

This was stated by the Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman flanked by Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt General Inam Haider Malik, here on Thursday, while addressing a press conference.

The minister said that the authorities have also transferred over 8,000 cattle, adding that all the departments including Navy, Police Force, and Rangers are involved in the operations. The minister said that the Air Force is not needed now but would provide assistance when needed.

Karachi not under immediate threat

Rehman said the VCSC“Biparjoy“ of category-3 had observed a decline in its intensity but its density prevailed due to emerging weather conditions posing a potential threat to the vulnerable communities. Rehman said the cyclone’s direction had changed from Karachi but its associated risks were prevailing in the impacted areas.

“The water level rise, rainfall, and storm alerts had already been issued whereas the four districts that would probably face the impacts are Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, and Keti-Bandar.”

“There is a shift in the direction of “Biparjoy” and landfall will take place at night. However, there are 17 different weather stations monitoring the situation and providing the most updated information,” she noted. “The distance of the cyclone was almost 235 kilometers (km) from Thatta and it had reduced from 248 km to 230km from Karachi, which was 155 km away from Keti-Bandar has a wind speed of 120-140 kms/h,” she added.

The minister added that the sustained surface wind speed was varying in some cases it could rise to 30 feet in the coastal areas and the local people have to stay alert. The cyclone is moving from north to northeast.

However, heavy rainfall is expected to take place around 100mm in Karachi, Hyderabad, Dadu, Tando Allah Yar, Tando Mohammad Khan, Sanghar, she said. Moreover, in Balochistan Lasbela, and Hub would also face the predicted rainfall. However, Thatta, Sujawal, Umerkot, Badin and Tharparkar were to face very extreme rainfall of up to 300mm, she added.

“The government preparations have been made and were prepared to manage the natural disaster,” she said. She informed that Five Corps, 16 companies of Rangers, 1,400 soldiers, and 303 Pakistan Navy personnel were deployed in the field along with two battalions of Coast Guards whereas the Pakistan Air Force was kept standby to chip in the relief and rescue effort.

The government of Sindh was taking an effective lead in the process, whereas, all out efforts had been made to comfortably evacuate the masses from the impacted areas. “However, public resistance is natural and it’s not a crime but rather there is a need to inform people to cooperate in this situation,” she added. Chairman NDMA Inam Haider Malik said the spread of the cyclone was towards north and north-east and its speed had declined to 130-150km/h. “The cyclone’s impact has been delayed but its intensity remained consistent.”

The Army and Rangers had successfully carried out an evacuation of people about 82,000 and had continued till late at night. “As many as 169 relief camps including 100 standby facilities have been established, whereas, each camp has the capacity to accommodate 7,000 to 8,000 people,” he added.

The NDMA chairman said that the government of Pakistan and Sindh government had ensured all facilities including food, ration, first aid kits, and water at the relief camps. He added that the present trajectory of the cyclone would be reviewed in the evening.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the NDMA said that Chairman NDMA Inam Haider Malik held a meeting with the delegation of United States Army Central (USARCENT) led by Lieutenant General Patrick D. Frank, Commanding General of USARCENT here at NDMA on Thursday. The NDMA chairman gave an overview of Pakistan’s hazards and vulnerabilities, disaster management outlook and structure of NDMA and its role in international relief assistance, a news release said.

The interactive session also covered ongoing situation of Tropical Cyclone Biparjoy at Arabian Sea and proactive preparedness to mitigate the possible impact of the cyclone in coastal areas of Pakistan. He highlighted that Pakistan’s resilience and adaptation make it worthy of support and recognition, especially when it has helped Türkiye and Syria during its own disasters.

General Frank exchanged aspects of mutual interest in post floods damage management in Pakistan and sought insights into areas of future possibilities of engagement and cooperation from each other’s experiences. He expressed hope that bilateral simulation exercises i.e. Gambit Exercises to be held in August would enhance the mutual cooperation of both countries in the field of disaster management.

Both sides agreed on shared climate security’s universal applicability of standard protocols and replication of successful management of mitigation templates of the developed world during emergencies and crises.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

Comments

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Tulukan Mairandi Jun 16, 2023 09:33am
This is easy to say and do while sitting in their upmarket homes. Where will these evacuees be sent to once their homes are flattened and pulverized by this violent hurricane? The country is looming on default. We hope Turkiye and others feel pity and come to our aid.
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Shafiq Jun 16, 2023 10:01am
What a half-baked evacuation attempt...they tried to evacuate people in sea view, defence, Clifton...people refused as they had no where to go...no shelters or transportation arrangements were made...some people who were force to leave their home...got the surprise of their lives...their homes were robbed within hours...GIGO effect continues...from north to south...long live the corrupt and the waderas and the apoliticals! Whole country is being systematically destroyed so some paindoos can save their skins...
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Martian Jun 16, 2023 10:13am
Oh sorry ……but Cyclone gone to India along with money making opportunity .
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Tulukan Mairandi Jun 16, 2023 10:53am
I hope Pakistan leaders are smartly able to blame cyclone on global warming to obtain some donations
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Azeem Hakro Jun 16, 2023 12:34pm
Sir, the Sindh and federal governments have taken strong steps to keep people safe from the severe cyclonic storm, Biparjoy. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the Sindh government in their efforts to help those who might be affected by the cyclone. They are making a lot of effort to evacuate people from the areas that could be in danger. Well done to the Sindh government. The government has sent soldiers and provided resources to help with the evacuation and relief work. The cyclone is expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds, so the government is telling people to stay inside and not travel if they do not have to. The Pakistan Navy has also sent ships to help with the evacuation and relief work, and the Pakistan Air Force is ready to provide more support if needed. We also appreciate the services of the army, navy, and air force, who are serving our nation dutifully and with great dedication.
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