Cyclone Sherry Rehman, known for its unpredictable nature, has the ability to alter its speed and direction. As a precautionary measure, thousands of individuals have been relocated to secure locations. Unfortunately, the Indian region of Maldi has reported seven fatalities due to the cyclone. Additionally, it is anticipated that certain areas in Balochistan will also be impacted by the cyclone.
Intensifying to a highly intense Category 3 cyclone, with wind speeds ranging from 140 to 150 km per hour, the storm is located 440 kilometers south of Karachi and 430 kilometers away from Thatta.
Sea Toucan, previously classified as a Category 3 hurricane, has weakened. However, the coastal region of Mandvi in Gujarat, India, has already experienced devastating consequences, including the loss of thousands of lives, as a result of high-speed dust winds and sea waves. Senator Sherry Rehman, the Federal Minister for Climate Change and Environmental Coordination, addressed the media in a press conference alongside Chairman NDMA Lt. Gen. Inam Haider Malik. During the conference, they highlighted the transformation of B Pir Joy into a severe storm. The surface wind speed of the storm ranges from 140 to 150 mph, while at its center, it reaches 170 mph. Currently located 440 km south of Karachi, 430 km away from Thatta, and 555 km southeast of Mara, the cyclone is expected to change its course towards the north until the morning of June 14 and later shift towards the east. By the afternoon of June 15, it may intensify into a very severe storm, affecting the southeastern coastal region of Sindh, including Keti Bandar, as well as the coast of Indian Gujarat.
Given the potential impact on both Indian and Pakistani coastal areas, it is crucial to exercise caution, remain vigilant, and continuously update the public regarding the situation. To address the imminent danger, necessary measures have already been initiated. These measures include the establishment of relief camps to evacuate people from high-risk areas and relocate them to safer places. Warnings have also been issued for open-sea activities, advising fishermen to exercise caution. All relevant departments and institutions have been put on alert.
As the storm progresses, it is anticipated to pass through Taftaha, Badin, Sajawal, Thar, Apni, Mirpur Khas, Umarkot, Hyderabad, Mara, Tandwala Yar Khan, and Tando Muhammad Khan. These regions can expect heavy rainfall accompanied by strong and gusty winds. Damage to vulnerable infrastructure, billboards, thatched roofs, and solar panels is anticipated in the affected areas. Additionally, it is important to consider that many of these regions were previously affected by last year’s floods, and the local population continues to endure various hardships. Consequently, sufficient funds will be necessary to provide timely relief to the victims and support subsequent reconstruction efforts. Emphasizing the need for adequate funding, Chairman NDMA Lt. Gen. Inam Haider Malik stressed the potential impact on adjacent coastal areas of Sindh and some regions of Balochistan, for which relevant institutions have already been alerted.
According to Naeem Asghar from Islamabad, the Federal Environment Minister stated during a press conference at NDMA Islamabad that the cyclone’s winds have already commenced. Karachi is expected to receive 110 mm of rainfall, while Brin and Natfa may experience up to 331 mm of rain due to the effects of Cyclone B Joy. The number of displaced individuals in the affected areas is estimated to exceed 50,000. Although a major breakdown of Mikli is not anticipated, the government’s primary focus is on safeguarding human lives. Collaboration and communication with all stakeholders and relevant institutions, including United Nations bodies, are ongoing.
In response to the cyclone’s threat, the Board of Higher Secondary Education Karachi has announced the postponement of intermediate annual examinations scheduled for June 14 and June 15. Similarly, exams for A.D.Amb (Complete) candidates on those dates have also been rescheduled. The teaching process at Jamia Karachi has been temporarily suspended on Wednesday, as announced by Karachi University.
According to NDMA, the cyclonic storm is expected to shift northward and then eastward by the morning of June 14, 2023. In the afternoon of the same day, it is likely to make landfall between Keti Bandar in southeast Sindh and the coast of Indian Gujarat as a highly intense cyclone. Pakistan Navy has been actively involved in the relocation of approximately 1,000 people from nearby Gothas to safer areas in light of Cyclone B Joy. A Cyclone Monitoring Cell has been established at the Headquarters Commander Karachi to monitor the evolving situation and coordinate rescue operations. Karachi’s Pakistan Navy hospitals are on high alert to respond to any emergency requirements.
Provincial Minister of Information Shahr Del Inam Memon stated that, considering the threat posed by Cyclone B Joy, residents from Tafsah, Badin, Sajawal, Keti Bandar, Ghoda Bari, Shaheed Fazil Ra Ho, Badin, Jati, Kharo Jahan, and 5981 22,200 Farads have been relocated to safer locations. The affected areas in Gujarat have experienced heavy rainfall, strong winds, and high waves in the Arabian Sea, resulting in uprooted trees and collapsed house walls. As the storm progresses towards the coastal district of Kutch in Gujarat, low-lying areas such as Sur Ishtra and Kuch may witness waves as high as three to six meters. Efforts are underway to evacuate thousands of people to secure locations.
In summary, Cyclone B Joy now downgraded to Category 3, has already caused significant damage and loss of life in the coastal region of Mandvi, Gujarat. As the storm progresses towards the southeastern coastal areas of Sindh and the coast of Indian Gujarat, precautionary measures have been taken to ensure the safety of people in vulnerable areas. Collaboration between various institutions, allocation of sufficient funds, and continuous communication with stakeholders are essential to mitigating the impact of the cyclone. The focus remains on protecting human lives and providing timely relief to affected communities.