New Delhi/Islamabad, Jun 11 (EFE).- Cyclone Biparjoy, which is currently over the Arabian Sea, intensified on Sunday to an “extremely severe” storm ahead of its expected arrival in India and Pakistan in the coming days.
“Biparjoy intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm at 0530IST today, about 480 km SSW of Porbandar, 530 km SSW of Dwarka and 610 km SSW of Naliya. To cross Saurashtra & Kutch and adj. Pakistan coasts bw Mandvi, Gujarat and Karachi, Pakistan around noon of 15th June as (a) very severe cyclonic storm,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) tweeted.
The cyclone is accompanied by surface winds of up to 190 kilometers per hour (118 miles per hour), which has led the IMD to recommend the total suspension of fishing operations in the area until it passes.
The department forecasts that these winds will gradually reduce in the coming days to a maximum speed of 150 kph on Thursday, when it is expected to make landfall between Mandvi in western India’s Gujarat state and Karachi in south Pakistan as a “very severe” cyclone.
The IMD has issued a heavy rain warning for Gujarat, where “heavy” to “very heavy” rainfall is predicted in some parts from Wednesday and “extremely heavy” in isolated areas on Thursday.
The IMD also warned of “total destruction of thatched houses,” the “bending or uprooting of power and communication poles” and “major damage” and flooding of roads in parts of Gujarat on Thursday.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have already been deployed to the coastal areas of Gujarat that are expected to be the worst affected, Indian news agency ANI reported.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said that the country’s southern coast would begin to feel the effects of the cyclone on Tuesday afternoon or evening, noting that “squally (high intensity) winds may cause damage to loose & vulnerable structures.”
“Dust/thunderstorm-rain with few heavy falls & accompanied with squally winds of 60-80 Km/hour likely” along Pakistan’s southern and southeastern coast between Tuesday or Wednesday and Saturday, it added.
Since Saturday, the Karachi authorities have banned bathing, swimming, sailing or fishing in the sea.
Cyclones are common in the coastal areas of India. Last month, the cyclonic storm Mocha brought some heavy rains and winds to the eastern regions of India.
In May 2020, super cyclone Amphan left more than 100 people dead in India and Bangladesh, in one of the worst such incidents in recent years. EFE