Over 170,000 people in India and Pakistan were forced to evacuate ahead of Cyclone Biparjoy
Over 170,000 people in India and Pakistan were forced to evacuate ahead of Cyclone Biparjoy

As a major storm reaches landfall, it is bringing with it gale-force winds and torrential rains to the coastal areas of northwest India and southern Pakistan.

In all, more than 170,000 people from the two nations were moved to safer ground before Cyclone Biparjoy made landfall.


The storm is threatening houses and crops in its path, and forecasters have warned that it may be the worst storm in the region in 25 years.

The cyclone will plough over the Indian state of Gujarat and the Pakistani province of Sindh.

The coast between Mandvi in Gujarat and Keti Bandar in Sindh is predicted to be affected by Cyclone Biparjoy, whose name means “disaster” in Bengali.

Storm surges of 3–4 m (10–13 ft) were predicted by Pakistan’s disaster management agency along the coastline between Karachi and Gujarat.

Even though the cyclone’s strength has decreased, the person in charge of relief activities in Gujarat, Alok Pandey, has warned that the winds will still be “very dangerous” at roughly 110–125 km/h (68–78 mph) when it makes landfall.

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

Rushikesh Patel, the health minister of Gujarat, urged residents to stay put. We want there to be no casualties,” he said.

This week’s severe rains in India have resulted in at least seven fatalities. According to AFP, two children were killed when a wall collapsed on top of them, while a lady on a motorcycle was struck by a falling tree.

The storm is forecast to hit the coast of Sindh province in Pakistan. Eighty-one thousand residents of the southeast coast have been relocated to 75 relief camps at schools put up by the authorities.

Ms. Rehman said that emergency precautions were being taken but that Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest metropolis with a population of over 20 million, was not in imminent danger.

Experts in meteorology have warned of the potential flooding of low-lying coastal regions due to high tides.

Heavy rains and strong winds have been plaguing Mandvi and the rest of the coastal Gujarat region since Wednesday. Local news stations broadcast footage of flying debris and strong rain.

A total of 94,000 people, according to state authorities in Gujarat, have been moved away from the shore.

Several railway lines have been cancelled in Gujarat, and two of India’s main ports, Kandla and Mundra, are closed.

The Gujarat coast is now closed to fishing, and fishermen in the coastal regions of both Pakistan and India have been told to remain on land.

According to BBC Gujarati, the government of Gujarat has built up control centres to ensure the well-being of Asiatic lions in the Gir forest and along the shore. The Asiatic lion only exists in the wild in India’s Gir jungle.

Key locations in Gujarat have seen the deployment of 18 national disaster response teams and 12 state disaster relief teams. Depending on the severity of the storm, they will prioritise restoring basic services as quickly as possible.

There will be a “fall in intensity” once Biparjoy crosses onto land, according to the India Meteorological Department.

Storms known as cyclones in the Indian Ocean are as common and devastating as hurricanes in the North Atlantic and the northwest Pacific, respectively. Due to climate change, the Arabian Sea’s surface temperature has been rising in recent years, making the surrounding areas more susceptible to catastrophic storms.

The latest major storm to hit the area was Storm Tauktae in May 2021. There were 174 fatalities.

Tragic recollections of a similar evacuation 25 years earlier, when another storm devastated the Gujarat coast, came flooding back during the Biparjoy crisis. The official death toll was approximately 4,000, but locals think it was significantly higher.

“We have seen cyclones in the past, but this time it looks very bad,” said Abbas Yakub, a 40-year-old fisherman who was taking refuge at a primary school in Mandvi. He was one of the temporary shelter’s 150 occupants.

Our house is on the seaside, and the waves have already reached it as recently as yesterday morning. We have no idea where we’ll end up,” he said.

Ishaad, who was just three days old, was the youngest resident of another refuge, a school protecting some 300 people. Shehnaz, his mother, has expressed concern about the family’s prospects.



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