Thousands of people in the coastal areas of Southwestern Balochistan moved to safer places as the authorities braced themselves for a tropical cyclone expected to hit the coastline later on Tuesday.
"These areas face danger and thousands have been evacuated from there to safer locations on higher grounds. The Pakistan Army, Navy and Rangers have also been deputed to carry out relief operations and ensure the people are safe," Habibullah Baloch, the Union council member in Gwadar said.
The Meteorological department said tropical cyclone 'Yemyin' had moved away from Karachi on Monday night, and was expected to strike Balochistan on Tuesday.
"We are bracing ourselves for a tough time and the bad news is that the coastal highway linking Gwadar with Karachi is expected to be submerged by the waves caused by the storm," Baloch said.
Meanwhile, seven deaths were reported from the coastal areas of Balochistan, most of them fishermen, he said.
Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry, director-general of the meteorological department said the 'worst appears to be over' for southern Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital, but widespread rains would continue till late Tuesday.
Karachi city Mayor Mustafa Kamal said over 1400 people had been evacuated from the fishing villages on the outskirts of Karachi's coastal area of Hawksbay and Sandspit to various refugee camps due to the threat of the tropical storm.
Kamal said the situation in Karachi was under control as people had been given early warnings to return to their homes and avoid unnecessary travel.
The government on its part has also either secured weak billboards and hoardings or removed them completely from residential areas and on the main through fares, the mayor added.
Though it rained consistently since Monday evening in Karachi, rescue workers and police officials said there were no reports of any casualties.
The windstorm in Karachi on Saturday had left at least 230 people dead due to falling of billboards, hoardings, trees and power wires.
There are an estimated 17,000 billboards and hoardings in Karachi, mostly illegal.
|© Copyright 2007 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.