Cyclone Biparjoy forces India and Pakistan to evacuate over 170,000 people
Cyclone Biparjoy forces India and Pakistan to evacuate over 170,000 people

As a severe storm makes landfall in north-west India and southern Pakistan, gale-force winds and torrential rains are pounding coastal areas.

Before Cyclone Biparjoy arrived, more than 170,000 people in both nations were evacuated to safety.


Forecasters believe it might be the worst storm in the region in 25 years, and it threatens houses and crops in its path.

The cyclone is expected to pass across sections of Gujarat state in India and Sindh province in Pakistan.

Cyclone Biparjoy, which means “disaster” in Bengali, is expected to make landfall at the Jakhau port, between Mandvi in Gujarat and Keti Bandar in Sindh.

Storm surges of up to 3-4m (10-13ft) were predicted along the coastline from Karachi to Gujarat, according to Pakistan’s disaster management agency.

Alok Pandey, the officer in charge of relief activities in Gujarat, had said that although the cyclone’s strength has decreased, wind speeds were still projected to be “very dangerous” at 110-125 km/h (68-78mph) at the time of impact.

Ships, helicopters, and planes from the Indian armed forces and coast guard have been maintained on standby for rescue and relief efforts.

Rushikesh Patel, Gujarat’s health minister, has advised people to avoid travelling. “Our goal is to have no casualties,” he stated.

Earlier this week, severe rains in India claimed the lives of at least seven people. Two children were crushed by a crumbling wall, while a lady on a motorcycle was injured by a falling tree, according to the AFP news agency.

The storm is likely to hit the coast of Sindh province in Pakistan. Authorities have evacuated 81,000 people from the southern coast and established 75 rescue centres in schools.

Ms Rehman said that although Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest metropolis with a population of more than 20 million people, was not under imminent danger, emergency precautions were being implemented.

Meteorologists have warned that high tides might inundate low-lying coastal regions.

Since Wednesday, Mandvi and other coastal Gujarat areas have seen severe rainfall and high winds. Local media sites published footage of debris flying in the downpour.

According to Gujarat state authorities, 94,000 people have been evacuated from coastal locations.

A number of railway services in Gujarat have been discontinued, and the ports of Kandla and Mundra, two of India’s biggest, have ceased operations, according to officials.

Fishing along the Gujarat coast has been banned, while fishermen in Pakistan’s coastline area have been told to remain onshore.

According to BBC Gujarati, the Gujarat government has also established control centres to monitor the safety of Asiatic lions in the Gir forest and coastal regions. The Asiatic lion’s sole natural home is the Gir forest.

For relief efforts, eighteen national disaster relief teams and twelve state disaster relief teams have been dispatched in important districts of Gujarat. Depending on how severe the storm is, they will prioritise ensuring that vital services stay undamaged or are restored as quickly as possible.

Biparjoy is expected to “fall in intensity” as it advances inland, according to the India Meteorological Department.
In the Indian Ocean, cyclones, also known as hurricanes in the North Atlantic and typhoons in the northwestern Pacific, are a common and devastating occurrence. Rising surface temperatures over the Arabian Sea in recent years have rendered the surrounding areas even more susceptible to severe storms as a result of climate change.

The most recent severe storm to hit the same area was storm Tauktae in May 2021. It claimed the lives of 174 individuals.

The evacuations for Biparjoy brought up painful memories of another storm that slammed the Gujarat coast 25 years ago, leaving a path of death and damage. Official numbers put the death toll at roughly 4,000, but locals think the total is significantly higher.

“We’ve seen cyclones before, but this time it appears to be very bad,” said Abbas Yakub, 40, a fisherman sheltering inside a primary school in Mandvi. He was one of 150 individuals staying at the temporary shelter.

“Our house is right on the beach, and the waves werehed over it yesterday morning.” “We don’t know what we’ll do next,” he remarked.

Ishaad, the youngest occupant at another shelter – a school sheltering roughly 300 people – was just three days old. Shehnaz, his mother, expressed concern about their future.

“How will I manage with my baby if something happens to my house?” “What will I do next?”



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