New Delhi/Islamabad, Jun 15 (EFE).- Strong winds and rain on Thursday began lashing the coasts of India and Pakistan as the “very severe” Cyclone Biparjoy was to make landfall later in the evening with gusts of up to 145 kph, even as authorities in the two countries have evacuated nearly 150,000 people.
The effects of the cyclone began to be felt just after noon as broadcasters showed uprooted trees and storm surges along with rains in the Indian coast.
At noon, Biparjoy was moving at a speed of 7kmph over the northeast Arabian Sea and situated 140km west-southwest of the Jakhau Port in the Indian state of Gujarat and 260 km south of Pakistan’s Karachi, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
The IMD said that the storm had slowed down but remained intense and would not be making landfall before dusk.
As per the projections, the effects of the cyclone would be felt especially in Gujarat and some areas of northern Rajasthan with light and moderate rainfall at most places and extremely heavy rainfall at the isolated areas.
India has evacuated more than 74,000 people from the eight districts of Gujarat likely to be affected, the state’s Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel tweeted.
Pakistani authorities also evacuated more than 72,000 people from areas “under direct threat” of the cyclone in its southern province of Sindh that borders India, provincial spokesperson Murtaza Wahab told EFE.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) also predicted widespread dust-storms, thunder and some extremely heavy rainfall accompanied with squally winds along the southeast coastline of Sindh.
Southern Sindh was devastated by severe flooding last summer, which affected more than 33 million people and claimed the lives of at least 1,700 people.
Cyclones are common on the Indian coast. In 2021, Cyclone Tauktae hit India’s western coast leaving at least 145 people dead. In neighboring Pakistan a cyclone in 1999 killed more than 6,000 people. EFE