Karachi: More than 60,000 people living on
Pakistan`s Arabian Sea coastline were evacuated and emergency
declared in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, as tropical
cyclone Phet closed in on the country.
Thousands of people were moved out from vulnerable
villages along the coast in the Sindh province and another
half a million could be affected in neighbouring
Balochistan, if the cyclone smashes into Pakistan, officials
President Asif Ali Zardari directed the armed forces and
all government departments to be on full alert to tackle the
possible fallout of the cyclone Phet, which has weakened over
Oman and is now moving towards Pakistan`s coastline.
"Cyclone Phet has almost reached the Oman coast and could
recurve towards Pakistan`s coastline in the next 24-36 hours,"
Met officials here said.
The authorities said hospitals have been put on alert and
medicines and equipment stockpiled to meet any emergency.
Officials said tinned rations had also been kept ready for
Met forecasters said they expect that the cyclone would
unleash a fierce storm resulting in heavy rain with gale force
winds which could uproot trees and powerlines.
They said that they did not expect the cyclone to be
severe on the port city of Karachi, but the storm could wreck
havoc in the villages on the Sindh and Balochistan coastline.
Sindh officials said they had moved out more than 60,000
people from the coastal villages to specially set up relief
camps in the hinterland.