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People shelter next to a building during a rainfall in Karachi on September 30, 2021, after Pakistan's authorities issued a warning that the rain-bearing system could be transformed into a cyclonic storm Gulab. Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: In view of the emergency situation resulting from the tropical cyclone — torrential rains and gusty winds — Karachi’s district administration announced a public holiday on Friday, October 1.

Administrator of Karachi and spokesperson for the Sindh government, Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui in a tweet shared the decision that according to him was taken in view of the situation resulting from the expected tropical cyclone and the rainfall.

Coastal areas most affected

According to Pakistan’s Meteorological Department (Met Office), the depression over the northeast Arabian Sea moved west-northwestward at a speed of 15km/hour during last 12 hours, concentrated into a deep depression and lay centred at a distance of about 160km south-southwest of Karachi, 140km from Thatta and 270km from Ormara.

“The system is likely to strengthen further into a cyclonic storm during the next six hours and move west-northwestwards towards Makran coast,” it further stated.

The Met Office also predicted widespread rain, wind-thunderstorms with scattered heavy/very heavy rainfall and squally winds in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Dadu and Jamshoro districts from Friday till the night of October 2.

Meanwhile, widespread rain, wind-thunderstorms with scattered heavy/very heavy rainfalls likely in Gwadar, Lasbela, Awaran, Kech, Khuzdar, Kalat and Panjgur districts of Balochistan till the night of October 3, the Met Office forecast.

Seas to remain rough till Sunday

According to the Met Office, the sea conditions will remain rough until Sunday and it is advisable that fishermen should refrain from venturing into the sea until then.

“Torrential rains may generate urban flooding in Karachi, Badin, Thatta, Hyderabad, Dadu, Mirpurkhas, Shaheed Benazirabad, Lasbela, Somiani, Ormara, Pasni, Gwadar, Turbat and Jiwani,” the Met Office cautioned.

Municipal services staff on roads

Murtaza Wahab in another tweet conveyed that all offices, educational institutions and businesses, apart from essential services, will remain closed in the metropolitan city while the staff of the Metropolitan Corporation department was on the roads.

“I am monitoring the situation personally and so far, from the old city area to Shahrah-e-Faisal and to Hussainabad the situation is under control,” said the administrator of Karachi.

Urban areas in grip of fear

People in Karachi’s urban areas remained indoors on Friday and life remained paralysed due to rainfall and strong winds that uprooted several structures, including poles.

In order to keep Karachi’s electricity supply uninterrupted the K-Electric staff along with heavy machinery and vehicles was also on the roads to meet any untoward situation.

The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) also issued a red alert ahead of the tropical cyclone, while all the civic bodies and Sindh government declared a rain emergency in their respective departments.air