Strong cyclone likely to hit Pakistan's coastal areas

21:38, June 02, 2010      

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Pakistani meteorology officials Wednesday warned fishermen to stay away from the sea as a tropical cyclone may hit coastal areas in southern Sindh and southwestern Balochistan provinces within 24 hours.

The cyclone, named "Phet," in the Arabian Sea, is likely to intensify into a severe storm, said Chaudhry Qamar-uz-Zaman, Director General of the Meteorology Office.

The cyclone had moved in a northwestern direction during the past 12 hours and was now cantered at 17 degrees north and 61 degrees east, about 900 kilometers southwest of Karachi, he said.

The Tropical Cyclone Warning Center associated with the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) issued a warning that the fishermen of Sindh and Balochistan who are in the open sea should return to the coast immediately. All fishermen were advised not to venture in the open sea till Saturday.

Initially, the storm is likely to move in a northwestern direction close to the Oman coast and then expected to re-curve in a northeastern direction toward Pakistan's coastal areas.

The official source at the meteorology office said that the waves, as a result of the storm, can be a dozen feet high in the sea.

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