City gets ready for cyclone phet | world | Hindustan Times
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City gets ready for cyclone phet

Karachi prepared for the worst as the meteorological department predicted that Cyclone Phet would hit the city on Sunday, reports Imtiaz Ahmad.

world Updated: Jun 06, 2010 23:04 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad

Karachi prepared for the worst as the meteorological department predicted that Cyclone Phet would hit the city on Sunday.

Local police have cordoned off beach areas of the city, while thousands have been evacuated from the coastal belt. Towns like Thatta and Badin have been issued red warnings, and fishing villages that dot the coastline have been evacuated.

Officials have warned that the cyclone could cause untold damage in a city.

“The last cyclone warning was 10 years ago,” said Owais ul Qarni, who works in a local weather station.

But there are many who believe that the city will be saved from the devastation. “We have belief in Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi,” says Nadeem Rumi, a businessman. Rumi says that many people in Karachi believe that the patron saint of the city — whose mazar (mausoleum) occupies a hillock overlooking the sea — has protected the city from disasters.

Others aren’t taking chances. The administration has put emergency services on alert, though local official Fazlur Rehman says the city is ill equipped to deal with emergency situations.