Heavy rains and winds lashed Karachi and other coastal areas of Sindh on Sunday as the outer circle of Cyclone Phet began hitting the provincial coastline, sources said. According to Met Department the Cyclone Phet has moved past Karachi without hitting the coast and now passing along the coastal line of Thatta. “Outer circle of Phet has begun making landfall at coastal areas of Badin and Thatta and now heading towards Thatta's coastal town of Bhanbhor,” said DCO Thatta. Media teams, rescuers and police personnel left behind Thatta’s coastal town of Keti Bandar have been asked to immediately evacuate the town. Keti Bandar, house of more than 5,000 populations, has already been evacuated in the wake of Phet’s possible landfall at town’s coast. Tens of thousands of people have already been removed from vulnerable coastal villages in the southern province of Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital, but thousands more are refusing to abandon their homes. Hospitals have been put on alert and medicines and tinned foodstuffs stockpiled, as meteorologists warned the cyclone may uproot power and communication lines along the coast. Chief meteorologist Mohammad Riaz said the cyclone could generate ocean waves of up to four metres (over 13 feet) at Karachi’s coast while height of the waves would be up to five metres at Thatta coastal belt where the center of the cyclone is likely to make landfall. He said a new wave of torrential rains may hit Karachi and lower Sindh in next 36 hours. Cyclone Phet initially made landfall on Oman’s coastline, where 15 people died, including a Bangladeshi and a Pakistani, and Riaz said it could move further eastwards to India from Pakistan.
The storm triggered torrential rains in Karachi and surrounding areas Sunday, damaging mud houses and submerging roads. Seven people were electrocuted in floodwaters, officials said. Heavy rain fall was witnessed in different parts of Karachi, many areas including I.I. Chundrigar Road, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, M.A Jinnah Road, Karachi University Road and Rashid Minhas Road were submerged. Provincial health minister Saghir Ahmad confirmed at least four people had been killed by electrocution in the city. 150 mm of rain was recorded at the PAF Masroor base, 150 mm at Faisal base, 100 mm at Karachi airport and 20 mm in Katibandar. Many areas were without electricity despite the KESC claims that electricity has been restored to 90 per cent of the city. Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday telephoned Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad. Ebad updated the president on the cyclone and rain situation in Sindh, the coastal areas and Karachi. The governor also briefed the president about the protective measures taken and the situation arising from heavy rains. Several areas of Badin and Pasni were also flooded with water. Pakistan Army said it was ready for any emergency in Badin and Thatta. About 5,000 people from Badin were evacuated to safe places, said the PDMA..— Agencies/ Dawn
By: Dawn News