ISLAMABAD: The Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) “Biparjoy” over the east-central Arabian Sea is maintaining its intensity and has been further tracked north-northeastward during the past 12 hours, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) warned Saturday.
An alert issued by the meteorological department stated that the storm now "lies near Latitude 16.7°N & Longitude 66.4°E at a distance of about 910km south of Karachi, 890km south of Thatta & 990km southeast of Ormara".
Previously, the storm was 1,040 kilometres south of Karachi, 1,020, kilometres south of Thatta, and 1,110 kilometres southeast of Ormara.
"Maximum sustained surface winds are 120-130 Km/hour gusts 150 Km/hour around the system centre.
"The favourable environmental conditions (sea surface temperature of 30-32°C, low vertical wind shear & upper-level divergence) are in support to intensify the system further," the PMD notification added.
The alert further stated that there was uncertainty regarding the storm's direction.
"Owing to shift in upper-level steering winds, the uncertainty in global models’ final track forecast of VSCS 'BIPARJOY' still persists with some taking it to Makran-North Oman coast and others indicating towards Indian Gujarat-Sindh coast," the alert stated.
According to the alert, the system will likely keep tracking further north/northeastward during the next 18-24 hours and then slightly recurve to North-northwest.
"PMD’s cyclone warning centre, Karachi is monitoring the system and will issue an update accordingly," the notification read.
In light of the development in the storm's progress, section 144 was imposed in Karachi earlier today.
Entry to the port city's beaches was banned, a notification from Karachi Commissioner announced.
The city's administration has banned fishing, sailing, swimming, and bathing at seas within the territorial limit of Karachi owing to the threat from June 11 till the "end of the storm."
The notification read that the decision had been taken to avoid any untoward incident of shipwreck or drowning.