Monday May 17 2021

Cyclone Tauktae 650 km away from Karachi, but poses no threat: PMD

The latest situation of the Cyclonic Storm Tauktae. — PMD

  • In the morning, PMD had said the cyclone was 800 km south-southeast of Karachi.
  • In the latest alert, the PMD said it was 580 km south of Thatta. 
  • Very hot and dry weather with gusty winds is likely to continue in Karachi.

Pakistan Meteorological Department said late Monday Cyclone Tauktae is 650km south-southeast of Karachi, but it still does not pose any threat to the country's coastline.

In the morning, PMD had said the cyclone was 800 km south-southeast of Karachi.

In the latest alert, the PMD said the cyclone was 580 km south of Thatta. "Maximum sustained winds around the system centre are 180-200 Kmph gusting 220 Kmph."

The system is likely to move further northward for some time, then recurve towards the Northeast and cross Indian Gujarat by midnight today, it said.

The Cyclonic Storm “Tauktae” has tracked Northward at a speed of 15 Kmph during the last 12 hours and now lay centred at 2000PST, 17 May 2021 near latitude 20.4N and longitude 71.2E, the PMD said.

Very hot and dry weather with gusty winds are likely to continue in Karachi, Hyderabad, Shaheed-Banzirabad, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Tando Allahyar, and Thatta districts till tomorrow evening.

Gusty winds may affect the fruit orchards in the above-mentioned districts. 

"Sea conditions will remain rough to very rough and fishermen of Sindh are advised to suspend their activities till May 19, 2021."

Meanwhile, authorities evacuated more than 200,000 people from their homes in India's Gujarat state and shut ports and major airports as the most powerful cyclone in more than two decades made landfall in the state.

The rain intensified and several incidents of power outages were reported in the state. Electricity pylons and trees were uprooted and buildings were damaged in coastal areas of Gujarat, state authorities said.

With the worst of the storm expected to last for several hours after it slammed into the state's coast, it piles more pressure on Indian authorities already struggling with a huge caseload of COVID-19 infections.

"This cyclone is a terrible double blow for millions of people in India whose families have been struck down by record COVID-19 infections and deaths. Many families are barely staying afloat," said Udaya Regmi, South Asia head of delegation, International Federation of Red Cross.

The cyclone has already killed at least 16 people and left a trail of destruction as it brushed past the coastal states of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, the authorities said.

"The landfall process has started, and it is expected to last for four hours. The intensity of the Cyclone Tauktae will go down once it is over,” Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said in a social media address on late Monday evening.

— Additional input from Reuters