Tropical cyclone Vayu 550km away from Karachi builds fury

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KARACHI:      Tropical cyclone Vayu – now classed as a very severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds equivalent to those of a Category 1 hurricane, – is approximately 550 kilometres away from Karachi with gusts of up to 12 kilometres per hour reaching the coastal area of the city.
It is expected to push the mercury and worsen the heatwave in Karachi between 40-42°C.
Besides, heavy rains are expected in Thatta, Badin, Tharparkar and other adjoining regions with a warning of dust storm already issued by the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).
The PMD has forecast maximum temperature 40-42 degree Celsius in Karachi on Thursday and 39-40 Celsius on Friday, and have predicted that the heatwave may extend until June 15.
Moreover, authorities have strongly recommended remaining alert in coming days with regard to the impact of Vayu.
Importantly, as a cyclone has been gathering intensity over the Arabian Sea and it is expected to hit Indian city of Gujarat on Thursday, authorities have so far evacuated about 300,000 people living in coastal areas.
Gujarat is also home to large refineries and sea ports near the storm’s path.
Weather officials in India said Cyclone Vayu is set to cross the coast with sustained wind speeds of 145 kph to 155 kph (90 mph to 96 mph), and could gust as high as 170 kph (106 mph). “We have started evacuation in coastal districts today morning,” a Gujarat disaster management official said.
The state’s chief minister, Vijay Rupani, has asked India’s military and its National Disaster Response Force for help with rescue and relief efforts if the cyclone causes widespread damage and disruption.
The federal home minister, Amit Shah, also urged officials to ensure swift restoration of utilities such as power, telecoms and drinking water if they are disrupted by the cyclone.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned the cyclone could hold up the progress of annual monsoon rains, as the storm drew rain clouds from over the sea.
The monsoon was already about a week late in arriving at Kerala on the southern coast this year, and much of the country has broiled in a summer heatwave in recent weeks.
In May, Cyclone Fani, the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane, killed at least 34 people on India’s eastern coast, destroying houses and ripping off roofs.
Authorities had evacuated more than 1.2 million people in advance of the storm, after an even more powerful cyclone in 1999 killed about 10,000 people and caused damage running into billions of dollars.