Escalating Sea Level Threatens Karachi’s Shoreline as Cyclone Biparjoy Nears

As cyclone Biparjoy draws nearer to Karachi, the sea level along the city’s coastal belt has begun to rise. Evacuation efforts are in full swing, particularly in the Keti Bandar area of Thatta District, where a significant number of people have been relocated to safer locations.

According to the latest advisory from the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), Biparjoy has been downgraded from an extremely severe cyclonic storm to a very severe cyclonic storm (VSCS). It has shifted further north-northwestward over the past 12 hours and currently sits at a latitude of 20.7°N and longitude of 67.1°E, approximately 470km south of Karachi and 460km south of Thatta.

The PMD reports maximum sustained surface winds of 140-150 km/hour, with gusts reaching 170 km/hour near the center of the cyclone. Sea conditions are described as phenomenal around the system center, with maximum wave heights of up to 30 feet.

Favorable environmental conditions, including a sea surface temperature of 29-31°C, low vertical wind shear, and upper-level divergence, are expected to support the cyclone’s strength in the coming days.

Based on current upper-level steering winds, the cyclone is projected to continue tracking northward until the morning of June 14th, after which it will recurve northeastward. It is anticipated to make landfall between Keti Bandar (Southeast Sindh) and the Indian Gujarat coast on the afternoon or evening of June 15th as a very severe cyclonic storm, packing winds of 100-120 km/hour.

An emergency meeting was held by Karachi Corps Commander Lieutenant General Babar Iftikhar to discuss the preparations being made in Badin ahead of Biparjoy’s arrival. Military officials, as well as heads of civil institutions, participated in the meeting, where they briefed the commander on the progress of preparations. The corps commander expressed satisfaction with the timely arrangements and instructed officials to utilize all available resources to address potential threats. Pakistan Army troops have already been deployed to various locations, ready to conduct rescue operations if necessary.

Instructions have been issued to all garrisons of the Pakistan Army to provide public assistance and conduct emergency rescue missions. Additional troops have been dispatched from Hyderabad, Badin, and Malir cantonments to support the civil administration in their evacuation efforts. The focus is on relocating approximately 90,000 citizens from the vulnerable coastal areas of Thatta, Sajawal, and Badin to safer places.

Evacuation is underway in Keti Bandar and nearby islands, with victims being shifted to relief camps established in schools. The Pakistan Army, Marine Security, Rangers, and elected representatives are actively involved in the evacuation process. The approaching cyclone has already caused changes in weather patterns, bringing cloudy skies, extreme heat, and humidity to the area. Rainfall is forecasted for the afternoon along the coastal belt.

In Badin, vulnerable individuals are being transferred to relief camps in Golarchi and Baghra Memon. The district administration has reported an increase in heat intensity in Badin and its surrounding areas.

The impact of rising sea levels is evident in Chashma Goth, where seawater has encroached onto the roadsides. However, residents have not yet evacuated their homes. Fishermen at the Rehri Goth jetty have also observed the water level increasing, with some parts of the jetty being submerged during the evening hours.

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