No threat to Pakistan’s coastal areas from Cyclone Tauktae: PMD

The Pakistan Meteorological Department said on Monday that Pakistan’s coastal areas are no longer under any threat from the cyclonic storm, Tauktae, which has developed into an “Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm” and is expected to make landfall on the Indian coast tonight.

According to the advisory posted on the department’s website, Cyclone Tauktae gained more strength and has moved north/northwest at 18 kilometres per hour (kph) during the last 12 hours and lay centered at a distance of about 730km south of Thatta and 800km south/southeast of Karachi.

A screengrab from the PMD's website showing the trajectory of the cyclonic storm, Tauktae. — Photo courtesy Pakistan Meteorological Department
A screengrab from the PMD’s website showing the trajectory of the cyclonic storm, Tauktae. — Photo courtesy Pakistan Meteorological Department

“Under its influence, dust/thunderstorm [and] rain with few moderate to heavy falls and gusty winds of 40kph to 60kph are likely to occur in Tharparkar, Umerkot and Sanghar districts, and in isolated parts of Badin [between] May 17 and May 19 May 2021,” the advisory said, adding that Mirpurkhas and Tando Allahyar are also likely to receive moderate rainfall accompanied by gusty winds blowing at 25kph to 30kph.

Meanwhile, Karachi, Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad, Badin and Thatta will continue to experience very hot and dry weather with occasional gusty winds till tomorrow, according to the PMD. The Met Office has also warned of sea conditions remaining rough to very rough till May 19 and advised fishermen not to venture into the sea till May 19.

According to the PMD, the system causing the cyclone is likely to move further northward and cross Indian Gujarat by tonight or tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority in a letter to all the deputy commissioners of Karachi stated that due to the weather conditions created by the cyclonic storm, the maximum daytime temperature in Karachi can rise to between 43-45 degrees Celsius on Tuesday. The authority directed the deputy commissioners to “take necessary precautionary measures to avert any loss of life and property”.

The PMD had initially issued an alert for Cyclone Tauktae on Saturday, predicting rainfall and gusty winds in parts of Sindh from May 17 to May 20.

Following the alert, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had declared an emergency in all districts located along the coastal belt in order to take precautionary measures to meet any untoward situation.

Moreover, he had directed for a control room to be established at the chief secretary’s office to keep close coordination with all the districts, in respect of their requirements and giving them necessary instructions on behalf of the government.

The chief minister had also directed the Karachi administrator and commissioner to start removing all billboards and ask builders to take precautionary measures for safeguarding under-construction buildings. He had further instructed the city administration to start cleaning the choking points of stormwater drains, and directed the Tharparkar district administration to take preemptive measures as the area was expected to receive heavy rainfall.

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