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32 feared dead as cyclone hits Pakistan


Karachi : At least 32 fishermen are feared dead after tropical cyclone Yemyin lashed the Pakistani coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan over Tuesday and early Wednesday, with winds of up to 130 kilometres an hour.

Several boats were reported to have sunk in the Arabian Sea and many others were missing. According to official sources, efforts are on to recover the bodies of the dead fishermen, the Dawn said Wednesday.

Chief meteorologist Naeem Shah told the paper that the cyclone turned into a low-pressure system over Balochistan after hitting land between Ormara and Pasni some 400 kilometres from Karachi. The low-pressure system would continue to cause moderate to heavy rains in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan.

Sindh Relief Commissioner Anwar Haider said that the local administration had helped thousands of people in the coastal areas of Karachi, Badin, Thatta, Keti Bander and Shah Bandar. "Most of them have returned to their home as the cyclone is over now," he added.

Authorities at the Karachi Port Trust said two boats, Al Taif with 17 fishermen and Al Majeedi with 12 fishermen, are still missing. They said all fishermen abroad were feared dead. Three fishermen are believed to have drowned near Thatta.

Waseem Akhtar, home affairs adviser to the Sindh chief minister said that the local administration had evacuated people from several villages along the Sindh coast. He said at least 1,700 electricity cables had snapped and 20 pole-mounted transmitters (PMTs) and over 350 electric poles have been damaged. "It will definitely take some time to fix faults," he added.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Rangers have set up 45 rain relief camps in Karachi and 15 in the interior of the province, including Badin, Thatta and Hyderabad, and are on standby to assist people affected by the cyclone. "Rangers are also equipped with medical equipment to provide fist aid to the injured people", he added.