Mohammad Junaid, an official of the Pakistan Meteorological Department said that the weather system was headed towards Gwadar’s coast in Balochistan but the cyclone could land in Oman as well. He also predicted that weather in the coastal areas may turn hot and humid prior to the storm.
It was not clear whether the cyclone would make landfall on the coasts of Southern Pakistan or Oman, but heavy rains and thunderstorms could hit Balochistan’s coastal areas and also touch some areas of Karachi early on Thursday.
Fishermen and small craft owners in Balochistan and Karachi’s coastal areas have also been advised to take precautionary measures and not venture into the deep sea until the landfall was confirmed.
People seldom pay heed to advisories in Pakistan and often defy the government ban of entering water during rough seas.
At least 23 picnickers had lost their lives on Eidul Fitr after drowning at Karachi’s Sea View beach this year. The government had then taken strict against against violators of the ban on bathing imposed under Section 144 of the criminal procedure code.
Naming the cyclone
The name of a new tropical cyclone is determined by sequential cycling through lists of names submitted by countries which are member of five tropical cyclone regional bodies.
Cyclone ‘Nilofar’ was named by Pakistan as it was the country’s turn in an alphabetical order.
Pakistan is included in the list of Northern Indian Ocean Names and other member countries are Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Mayanmar, Oman, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Six lists are used in rotation and storms are identified using names from an alphabetically arranged list.
Earlier the use of women’s names for cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere and men’s names for cyclones in the Southern Hemisphere were practised. Later the names began alternating.
Standby lists are used to replace retired names in previous lists and any replacement will be added to the bottom of the original list to maintain the alphabetical order.
Previously Oman had named Cyclone ‘Hudhud’ which slammed India’s coast earlier this month.
Sri Lanka’s turn is next on the list with the name Cyclone ‘Priya’, according to the alphabetical arrangement.