How to stay safe during Cyclone Biparjoy

Cyclone Biparjoy Approaches Sindh Coast, Evacuations Continue

As Cyclone Biparjoy draws near to the coastal areas of Sindh, evacuations have been ongoing in the province. The Pakistan Meteorological Department’s Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre has issued the latest alert, stating that the cyclone has moved further north-northwestward in the past 12 hours and has weakened from an “extremely severe cyclonic storm” to a “very severe cyclonic storm.”

Areas will be affected by Cyclone

According to the alert, the cyclone storm is currently located approximately 410km south of Karachi and 400km south of Thatta. The affected areas are expected to experience dust/thunderstorm-rain and heavy squally winds of 80-100km/hr from June 13th to June 17th. The districts that are likely to be impacted include Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Tharparkar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Karachi, Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Shaheed Benazirabad, and Sanghar. The cyclone is anticipated to make landfall between Pakistan’s Keti Bandar and the Indian state of Gujarat on June 15th.

The high-intensity winds accompanying cyclone Biparjoy may cause damage to vulnerable structures, including kutcha houses and solar panels. Additionally, a storm surge of 3-3.5 meters (8-12 feet) is expected at the point of landfall, potentially resulting in the inundation of low-lying settlements.

Do’s and Don’ts

Authorities, such as the Sindh government and the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), have shared dos and don’ts to guide individuals on safety measures before, during, and after the cyclone. Prior to the cyclone’s arrival, people are advised to stay calm, keep their mobile phones charged, secure valuables and documents in waterproof containers, and prepare an emergency kit with essential items. It is crucial to have an ample supply of food, water, a first aid kit, and medications. Removing valuable items from basements and ground floors, clearing loose objects from rooftops, and ensuring a ready supply of torches and candles in case of power outages are also recommended.

Safety Measures

The DHA has specifically recommended that residents voluntarily evacuate and take measures to secure solar panels and fiberglass tanks. Instructions have been provided to residents of residential and commercial buildings on constructing temporary walls with sandbags or block masonry at basement entrances, keeping open spaces clear, cleaning drains at main gates, maintaining clear rooftops, securing electric connections, and cleaning manholes and pipes.

During and after the cyclone, it is important to switch off electrical mains and gas supply if indoors, keep doors and windows shut, rely only on official warnings, and take care of children during rainfall. If outdoors, individuals are advised to avoid entering damaged buildings, seek safe shelter promptly, and be cautious of broken electric wires, poles, and sharp objects.

Fishermen are strongly advised to keep their boats and rafts securely tied in a safe location and refrain from venturing into the sea. A ban on coastal activities is currently in effect and will remain so until June 17th.