Biparjoy cyclone: Good news for Pakistanis as storm changes direction off coast Karachi
KARACHI – Pakistani officials breathed a sigh of relief on Friday as the very severe cyclonic storm (VSCS) Biparjoy made landfall along the Indian Gujarat coast and the Pakistan-India border, sparing Sindh’s coastline from significant damage. Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman confirmed that Pakistan remained safe from the cyclone, and a meeting was scheduled to discuss the next steps.
Authorities in both India and Pakistan had evacuated over 180,000 individuals in recent days to prepare for the cyclone’s arrival, which was expected to impact coastal regions of both countries. Biparjoy, meaning ‘disaster’ or ‘calamity’ in Bengali, struck near Jakhau, a port in India’s Gujarat, causing damage to roofs, trees, and electric poles. Fortunately, no casualties were reported.
According to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Biparjoy was expected to weaken further. It was projected to move northeastward and transform into a cyclonic storm by the morning of June 16, eventually weakening into a depression by the evening of the same day. As the threat subsided, fishermen who had been relocated due to the cyclone were allowed to return home.
Meanwhile, light rain and winds persisted in certain districts such as Sujawal, but the storm threat had come to an end according to local officials. Evacuated residents who had been staying in relief camps were set to return to their homes. The extent of damage caused by the strong winds and rain was being assessed.
The NDMA reported that the cyclone’s current position was approximately 255 kilometers from Karachi, 165 kilometers from Thatta, and 125 kilometers from Keti Bandar. The maximum sustained surface winds were between 100 to 120 kilometers per hour, with gusts reaching 130 kilometers per hour around the center of the system. The expected maximum wave height in the Northeast Arabian Sea was around 10 to 15 feet.