Saturday, June 10, 2023

Cyclone tracking: Biparjoy moves closer to Pakistan's coastal areas

A satellite image of the cyclonic storm present in the Arabian Sea taken in the morning of June 10. — PMD
A satellite image of the cyclonic storm present in the Arabian Sea taken in the morning of June 10. — PMD

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.

Cyclone tracking: Biparjoy moves closer to Pakistans coastal areas

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.

Possible impact

  • Fishermen are advised not to venture into the open sea from tomorrow, 11 June 2023 onwards till the system is over as the Arabian Sea conditions may get very rough/high accompanied by high tides along the coast.
  • With its probable north-northeast track, the rain-thunderstorm with some heavy falls & squally winds is expected on the Sindh-Makran coast from 13 June evening/night onwards.
  • Squally (high-intensity) winds may cause damage to loose & vulnerable structures.
  • Sea conditions are very high/phenomenal around the system canter with a maximum wave height of 25-28 feet.

Section 144 imposed in Karachi

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.