Home NEWS International News Cyclone Biparjoy: More than 100,000 evacuated as India, Pakistan braces for storm

Cyclone Biparjoy: More than 100,000 evacuated as India, Pakistan braces for storm

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More than 100,000 people in India and Pakistan have been evacuated from the path of a fierce cyclone
More than 100,000 people in India and Pakistan have been evacuated from the path of a fierce cyclone

More than 100,000 people in India and Pakistan have been evacuated from the path of a fierce cyclone a day before its expected landfall.

Forecasters have warned that Cyclone Biparjoy – which means “disaster” in Bengali- could destroy homes and crops.

Biparjoy has been making its way across the Arabian Sea and is expected to first hit India’s Gujarat state on Thursday evening local time.

At least seven people have already died amid heavy rains in India.

The victims include two children crushed by a collapsing wall, and a woman hit by a falling tree while riding a motorbike, AFP news agency reported.

In Pakistan, the storm is expected to strike the coast of Sindh province. Authorities have already evacuated 62,000 people from the south-eastern coast and set up 75 relief camps at schools.

Pakistan’s Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said Karachi, the province’s largest city with a population of more than 20 million, was not under immediate threat but emergency measures were being taken.

The “very severe cyclonic storm” was packing sustained winds with speeds up to 135 km (84 miles) per hour, and gusting up to 150 km (93 miles) per hour, meteorologists said. They have also warned high tides could inundate low-lying areas along the coasts.

Several parts of coastal Gujarat witnessed heavy rains and high-speed winds on Wednesday.

The cyclone is expected to make landfall near the Jakhau port between Mandvi in Gujarat and Karachi in Pakistan between 4pm [10.30GMT] and 8pm local time, Gujarat’s weather chief said.

On Thursday morning, strong winds and rough sea conditions were reported in Mandvi.

Trains in the Gujarat region have been suspended while the ports of Kandla and Mundra – two of the largest in India – have stopped operations, authorities said.

Fishing has been suspended along the Gujarat coast, while fishermen in Pakistan’s coastal region have also been warned to stay off the water.

The India Meteorological Department expects Biparjoy to “fall in intensity” after crossing.

Cyclones, also known as hurricanes in the North Atlantic and typhoons in the Northwest Pacific, are a regular and deadly phenomenon in the Indian Ocean. Rising surface temperatures across the Arabian Sea in recent years due to climate change have made the surrounding regions even more vulnerable to devastating storms.

Cyclone Tauktae in May 2021 was the last severe cyclone that struck in the same region. It killed 174 people.