Boats returning home jetties as cyclone danger looms

October 27, 2014 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: Boats moved to the open sea a few days back are returning home jetties in Karachi, Thatta, Badin and Sujawal districts coastal areas, after receiving warnings calls, as Cyclone Nilofar is approaching fast and feared it may hit the Pakistani coasts.

“Depression into the sea is visible in the tides and boats are being asked to return home till Tuesday evening because of the rough sea weather,” said Noor Mohammed Thahimor from Jati. He resides in the coastal village Ishaq Thahimor, which had experienced the devastated cyclone 1999. The area receives frequent warning calls about the fears of cyclones, developed in the sea at different times in the Pakistani coast.

Around 20000 small and big vessels are operating from different coastal jetties in Sindh. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) chairperson claims to have set up an emergency cell at Sachal Hall in the coastal locality Ibrahim Hydri to issue warning calls to boat owners and crews in the open sea, asking them to return back to their jetties. He said they had spread message to the boats up to Ormara, Balochistan and Thatta through their own warning issuance system.

“Since there are limited sources to reach the boats, PFF team has been put on alert in all the coastal areas to monitor the situation closely and make sure the boats have come back with crews to avoid loss in case of weather change,” Shah said in his message to the media.

“PFF as usual has set up 24-hour emergency call centre under the supervision of community elder Majid Motani to convey the warning message and collect updates,” he said, adding that “boats are coming back and hopefully they will reach home jetties soon.”

All the deputy commissioners and district administrations have been asked to evacuate the community people, residing at the vulnerable places to shift them at safer places. The revenue officials at local level are advising community activists to stay alert to avoid any loss.

PFF chairperson Mohammed Ali Shah said nobody from the government is visible to help the boats and crews. They do not have system, hence they are approaching PFF activists for extending cooperation.

He said after devastated cyclone, which hit Pakistan’s Sindh coast in May 1999, the community people are receiving warning calls frequently whenever the depression developed in the sea. But the government authorities have never bothered how to help and accommodate them while coming out of their shelters.

Shah expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the NDMA, PDMA, DDMA and other government agencies, saying “despite the threats of such disasters there is no proper preparation and planning to avert the impacts of devastations”.

“This kind of carelessness shows how the government institutions are careless. Despite these threats they respond to the emergency leisurely, which may put the people most vulnerable in case the disasters hit the country coast,” Shah said, criticising the government institutions for their lukewarm response to the disasters.

PFF community volunteers have displayed red flags at coastal belt to warn the community people that there are fears of rough weather. The organization people are working closely with the government officials at district level to strengthen network to avoid any loss.

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