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Emergency imposed at coastal areas as cyclone Phet nears

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Posted by on Thursday, June 3, 2010, 9:44
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KARACHI: Tropical cyclone ‘Phet’ is gathering pace off Sindh’s coastline in the Arabian Sea and could hit Karachi in the next 24 hours.

According to the Met Department, the cyclone is intensifying 950 kilometres southwest of Karachi and is expected to hit Sindh’s coastal areas in the night between Friday and Saturday.

The Met office said the cyclone was advancing at a pace of six nautical miles and may turn towards Pakistan, the channel reported. The government has issued a warning to citizens against visiting the seaside to avoid any dangerous occurrence.

The administrative department issued warning through loud speakers along the seaside and police had been deputed to stop people from heading to the coastline, the channel reported.

According to the warning, the cyclone is likely to intensify further during the next 24 hours. The cyclone is likely to move in a north-westerly direction close to the Oman coast and is then expected to re-curve in a north-easterly direction towards the Pakistani coastal areas.

The cyclone intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and moved in a north-westerly direction during the last 12 hours with a speed of six knots.

Under the influence of this cyclone widespread heavy rains associated with dust and thunderstorms are expected in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan.

Sea conditions along the Sindh-Makran coast are also expected to be rough during the next 48 hours. The Met office has warned the fishermen in Sindh and Balochistan in high waters to immediately return to the coast.

UN warns: The United Nations also warned that the cyclone in the Arabian Sea could be as catastrophic and disastrous as Hurricane Katrina.

A UN representative said the storm was of Category 3 at the moment, however, it could transform into a Category 4 or 5 storm bEmergency imposed at coastal areas as cyclone Phet nearsy the time it hits the Sindh coastline, the channel added.

The UN said it had issued a red alert to its organisations working across the country.

The representative added that coastal areas, including Karachi, Badin and Thatta were in the eye of the storm.

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