Phet moves past Karachi, hits Thatta 11 dead as rains, storm lash Sindh F. P. Report

from Frontier Post
Published on 07 Jun 2010 View Original
KARACHI: The tropical cyclone, Phet, on Sunday crossed Karachi and moved towards Thatta with a speed of 25 to 30 kilometers per hour but rains which lashed Karachi on Sunday claimed at least 11 lives. The Phet hit landmass near Thatta Sunday evening. Karachiites have no threat from the Cyclone now according to the latest information. The main target of the cyclone is told to be Keti Bundar, which has already been evacuated. Heavy rains are reported from Thatta, Badin and Hyderabad. The Cyclone Phet moved past Karachi without hitting the coast and was passing along the coastal line of Thatta, Meteorological Department said Sunday when the last reports came in. The DCO Thatta Manzoor Shaikh said the Cyclone has smashed into the coastal line of Thatta and Badin where gale winds and heavy rains are battering the region. He said Ketty Bunder has been evacuated to avert any hazardous situation. All the arrangements have been put in place to deal with any eventuality, he added. Downpour is also visiting Hyderabad, disrupting the power supply, Met Office said. More rains are also expected in Karachi, it added. Meanwhile, Heavy rains and winds lashed Karachi and other coastal areas of Sindh on Sunday including Badin, Hyderabad and Thatta. Media teams, rescuers and police personnel left behind Thatta's coastal town of Keti Bandar were asked to immediately evacuate the town. Karachi received the first heavy spell of rain on Saturday night and in afternoon due to tropical cyclone Phet. Police said that most incidents occurred due to electrocution while a man was killed in traffic mishap at Super Highway. Many areas remained without electricity and rescue as well volunteer teams were busy in restoring civic facilities. "More than 200 power feeders have tripped in Karachi causing outages at several areas in the city." Hospitals of Sher Shah, Baloch Colony, Bin Qasim Town, Nazimabad, City Railway Colony and Burns Road areas received many of the bodies. According to Met Office, its observatory at PAF Base Masroor recorded a downpour of 133 millimeters, Faisal Base 92 mm, Saddar 84 mm, North Karachi 86 mm and Karachi Airport 77.1 mm. Meanwhile, the sanitary staff of City District Government Karachi has started the efforts to flush out water from low lying areas in the city. Besides other crises people area also facing travelling facilities as Pakistan Railways has suspended the train service due to heavy rainfall in Karachi. Keti Bandar, house of more than 5,000 population, has already been evacuated in the wake of Phet's possible landfall at town's coast. Heavy rain lashed Thatta in early hours of Sunday and continued intermittently till the filing of this story in the evening. Rains accompanied by gusty windys lashed the coastal areas of this district including Keti Bundar, Khharochhan, Shahbunder and Jati in the afternoon. As per reports, sea water started gushing up towards the shore in strong waves. Tens of thousands of people have already been removed from vulnerable coastal villages in the southern province of Sindh but thousands more are refusing to abandon their homes. A new wave of torrential rains may hit Karachi and lower Sindh in next 36 hours. Cyclone Phet initially made landfall on Oman's coastline, where 15 people died, including a Bangladeshi and a Pakistani, and it could move further eastwards to India from Pakistan. Authorities have already evacuated 60,000 people from along the 1,000- kilometre coastline, including 23,000 on outlying islands, but thousands more are refusing to abandon their homes. "Thousands of people are still living in the city's coastal suburbs and are not ready to leave their homes," said Roshan Shaikh, a senior official with the provincial disaster management authority. "Initially we decided to shift them forcibly, but we could not as it might create unrest. However we are ready to save them in the minimum possible time," Shaikh told newsmen. Thousands of large advertising billboards along the city streets have been taken down for fear that the winds could blow them over. Hundreds of relief camps have been established in the affected areas but people have complained about the lack of facilities. Heavy rains may cause flash flooding in Karachi and other parts of Sindh and the southwestern Balochistan province. Local administration officials said that hospitals have been put on alert. The government has established relief camps in school buildings and set up health units and control rooms ready to operate if necessary, an official said. A Balochistan provincial government official, Ataullah Mengal, said cyclone-related rains had injured 18 people in the coastal areas but no deaths had been reported.
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