Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah presiding over a meeting regarding Cyclone Tauktae on Saturday at CM House declared emergency in all the districts located along the coastline for taking precautionary measures to meet any untoward situation.
"A control room should 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 instruction on behalf of the government," he said.
The Cyclone Tauktae is heading towards Indian Gujrat, but its periphery is expected to hit the coastline of Balochistan and Sindh causing torrential rain, high winds and rough sea.
Keeping in view the presentation given to him by Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) and Pakistan Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), the chief minister directed the administration in Karachi to start clearing all the choking points of nullas.
He directed Karachi Commissioner Naveed Shaikh and Administrator KMC Laiq Ahmed to start removing all the billboards, neo-signs and ask the builders to make precautionary measures for security of their under -structure buildings. He directed PDSMA to provide dewatering machines, generators to the district administration in the city and in the other districts where required.
Shah directed fishermen not to go in the deep sea for fishing from tomorrow. The chief minister directed the chief secretary to set up a control room in his office and post a BS-19 offer as its head to receive requirements from the districts and issue necessary instructions to the administration on behalf of the government.
The chief minister directed Tharparkar district administration to take extraordinary measures because it was expected to receive very heavy rains. All the district administrations should make alternate accommodation arrangements, in case shifting of the people becomes necessary.
The chief minister directed the chief secretary to seek the requirement of funds from the district administration and ensure timely releases. The district administration was also directed to set up control rooms in their districts.
The chief minister also issued directives to the Irrigation minister to declare emergency in his department and keep proper mentoring of the embankments of the canals and distributaries.
Shah directed Minister Local Government Nasir Shah and Minister Rehabilitation Faraz Dero to stay in Karachi and personally monitor each and every arrangement.
The meeting was attended by Minister Rehabilitation Faraz Dero, Advisor Murtaza Wahgab, Chief secretary Mumtaz Shah, SMBR Alamuddin Bullo , ACS Home Usman Chachar, Commissioner Karachi Naveed Shaikh, PSCM Sajid jamal Abro, Secretary Finance Hassan Nqvi, Administrator Karachi Laiq Ahmed, Commander Core Engineering Brig Qazi Nasir, Director Met Office Sarfraz, DG PDMA Salman Shah and on video link Irrigation Minister Sohail Siyal and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Shah joined the meeting through video link and the deputy commissioners of coastal districts also attended the meeting through video link.
Tracks of cyclone
There are two possible tracks of the cyclone, the chief minister was told. If the cyclone crosses Indian Gujrat, then its outer peripheral effect would be on Thatta, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar, Umerkot and Sanghar districts.
Thatta, Badin and Mirpurkhas would receive a heavy rainfall of 70 to 90 mm each, Umerkot 80 to 100 while Tharparkar would receive very heavy rainfall of 230 to 250 mm. In case the cyclone crosses North West and crosses West of Karachi then its outer peripheral effect would be on Karachi, Hub, Lasbela, Hyderabad and Jamshoro districts. Karachi may receive 60 to 80 mm rainfall, Hyderabad 30 to 50 mm, Jamshoro 150-170 mm, Dadu 180 to 200 mm, Bela and Sukkur 80 to 100 each and Jacobabad 60 to 80 mm.
Pakistan Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) DG Salman Shah told the meeting that the depression over Southeast Arabian has intensified into a cyclonic storm Tauktae and lay centred at 0800 PST of 15 May 2021 near latitude 12.7N and longitude 72.3E, at a distance of about 1,460 km South-Southeast of Karachi. Maximum sustained winds around the system centre are 90-110 Kmph to 120 Kmph. The system is likely to intensify further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm (SCS) during next 12-18 hours and move in north-northwest direction and reach Indian Gujarat by morning of May 18.
Under the influence of this system, widespread heavy to very heavy dust/thunderstorm-rains with gusty winds of 80-100 Kmph are likely to occur in Thatta, Badin, Thar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and Sanghar districts from May 17 to May 20. Dust/thunderstorm-rains with few heavy falls and gusty winds of 50-70 kmph are also likely in Karachi, Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Shaheed Benzirabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Shikarpur, Jacobabad and Dadu during 18-20 May 2021. The sea conditions would be rough to very rough and fishermen are advised not to venture in the sea from May 16 to 20.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2021.