Cyclone Tauktae: Pakistan's Sindh province on high alert mode

KARACHI: Authorities in Pakistan's Sindh province have adopted a high alert mode after the Pakistan meteorological department (PMD) issued warnings over cyclone Tauktae.

According to the alert, the cyclone has intensified into a "very severe cyclonic storm" and lay centres near 15.3 degrees north latitude and 72.5 degrees east longitude, at a distance of about 1,210 km south-southeast of Karachi.

The PMD on Sunday issued the sixth consecutive alert for the cyclone, poised to affect part of the Sindh province, especially its coastal areas with heavy rainfall and gusty winds, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Maximum sustained winds around the system center are 100-120 kph gusting to 140 kph," said the alert, adding that the system is likely to move further northwestward and reach the Indian state of Gujarat by Tuesday morning.

The Department said in an alert issued Saturday night that "based on the existing meteorological conditions, dust/thunderstorm-rain with few moderate to heavy falls with gusty winds of 60-80 kph" are likely to occur in different parts of Sindh, especially its coastal areas.

Fishermen have also been advised not to venture in the sea till May 20 because the sea conditions will be rough to very rough.

Following the alerts, Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah had declared an emergency in all districts located along the coastal belt.

Local authorities in Karachi have started removing all billboards and safeguarding under-construction buildings besides cleaning drains and making alternate arrangements for accommodation.

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