Cyclone Phet

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Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Phet
Very severe cyclonic storm (IMD scale)
Category 4 (Saffir–Simpson equivalent)
Phet1kmvscs.jpg
Cyclone Phet on June 1, 2010 near peak intensity
Formed May 30, 2010
Dissipated June 7, 2010
Highest winds 3-minute sustained: 155 km/h (100 mph)
1-minute sustained: 230 km/h (145 mph)
Lowest pressure 970 mbar (hPa); 28.64 inHg
Fatalities 44 total
Damage $780 million (2010 USD)
Areas affected Oman, Pakistan, India
Part of the 2010 North Indian Ocean cyclone season

Cyclone Phet (IMD designation: ARB 02, JTWC designation: 03A, also known as Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Phet) was the third named cyclone of the 2010 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. Phet developed from a low pressure area in the Arabian Sea that organized into a tropical cyclone on May 31. It initially moved to the northwest but later turned northwards before making landfall in the Oman Desert on June 4 at peak intensity. Weakening, it then shifted direction and headed northeast and made landfall as a deep depression at Thatta, Pakistan on the evening of June 6.[1] Phet is Thai word meaning Diamond. Damage from Phet in Oman was estimated to have exceeded $780 million.[2]

Meteorological history[edit]

Map plotting the track and intensity of the storm according to the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale

Early on May 30, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported that an area of low pressure had formed about 925 km (575 mi), to the southwest of Mumbai, India.[3][4] The area of low pressure had loose organized convection developing around the low level circulation center within the monsoon trough.[4] The system was located to the south of a high pressure center anchored over Oman in an area of moderate vertical windshear.[4] Early the next day as convection around the low level circulation center had consolidated further the JTWC issued a tropical cyclone formation alert whilst the IMD declared that a depression had formed out of the low pressure area and initiated advisories on it.[5][6][7] Later that day the JTWC also initiated advisories on the Depression, designating it as Cyclone 03A as it had continued to consolidate despite moderate levels of vertical windshear.[8]

Early on June 1 as vertical windshear around the Depression had relaxed, the IMD reported that the depression had intensified into a cyclonic storm and named it as Phet. Later that day the JTWC reported that Phet had started to rapidly intensify before reporting that the system had intensified into a Category 1 tropical cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. During the next day the JTWC reported that Phet had continued to rapidly intensify before reporting that it had initially peaked as a Category 4 tropical cyclone with winds of 230 km/h (145 mph). Phet hit the Arabian Peninsula shortly afterwards with hurricane-force winds, and then crossed into the Arabian sea and was downgraded to a deep depression before it hit Pakistan, dissipating on June 7.

According to the IMD, Phet had the rarest of the rarest tracks with two landfalls and longest track in recent years.[9]

Preparations[edit]

The coasts of Oman, Pakistan and the Indian state Gujarat were issued warnings of strong waves accompanied with high winds. Fishermen were asked to go to safer areas and not to venture in the seas.

Oman[edit]

In Oman, The Royal Oman Police had issued an emergency evacuation notice to the residents of Masirah and Ras al Hadd for the preparation of the tropical storm Phet. Oman's Government authorities are also advising residents to stay away from the seas while around 10,000 people have been moved to safer areas. Examinations have been put off and schools have declared holidays. Businesses downed their shutters early to allow staffers to go home. Some reports suggest that over 85 per cent of Masirah island has been evacuated, where Oman air, Oman's national carrier, has performed continuous flights all day along with the military to the local airport to evacuate locals. Meanwhile, rescue teams have been ordered to be present as a precautionary measure against the cyclone in the U.A.E. as the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) warned of high tides and strong winds in the next 48 hours.[10]

Pakistan[edit]

The President of Pakistan ordered the military and government to take "immediate precautionary measures" as the tropical cyclone approached. Around 60,000 residents were being evacuated from vulnerable coastal villages in the southern province of Sindh and another half a million could be affected in Balochistan province if Cyclone Phet smashes into Pakistan.[11] Hospitals in Karachi and other coastal areas of Sindh were put on high alert amidst cyclone warning.[12]

India[edit]

Over 8,000 people were evacuated from Kandla and Tuna in Kutch district in Gujarat, India, in view of the advancing cyclone.[13] Three fire brigade teams with rescue vehicles were dispatched to Junagadh, Porbandar and Jamnagar for any eventuality. Power cuts were reported from parts of Saurashtra in Gujarat, India.

Impact[edit]

Death toll
Pakistan 15 [14]
Oman 24 [15]
India 5 [16][17]
Total (as of June 8) 44

Oman[edit]

Cyclone Phet inland over Oman
TTRM rainfall map

On June 4 in Oman, first report came that Cyclone Phet killed two persons including a Bangladeshi woman.[18] Heavy rains drenched Oman's east coast as strong winds uprooted trees and signboards. The Oman News Agency said that army forces were deployed in the region as civil defense rescued three people from an area engulfed by floods in Wadi Sal valley. A further two rain-related deaths have been reported in Oman as Tropical Cyclone Phet weakened. An Omani citizen drowned when he tried to cross a flooded wadi, said Lieutenant-General Malik Bin Suleiman Al Ma'amari, Inspector General of Police and Customs Chairman of the National Civil Defence. An Asian died in Quriyat, on the eastern side of Muscat, when he was electrocuted in surging wadi waters.[19] By June 5, a further eight were confirmed to be dead, resulting in death toll of 16.[20] On June 6, an official report further increased the death toll to 24,[21] including 21 Omanis and 3 expatriates (one each from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh).[15] Meanwhile, Oman halted its oil and gas production due to bad weather as Cyclone Phet hit the small oil-producing country's coast.[22]

Pakistan[edit]

Phet arrived in Balochistan, which saw 133 millimetres of rainfall on June 4. Authorities evacuated tens of thousands of people to safe areas and the country's army and navy were put on alert.[23] Pasni, Gwadar and other coastal had no electricity due to heavy rains. High tides were also observed in Jiwani waters.[24] Under the influence of this system, extremely heavy rainfall occurred over coastal areas of Balochistan (Gwadar 370 mm, Jiwani 208 mm, Pasni 139 mm) accompanied with very strong wind gusting to 120 km/hour.[25] On June 6, showers started in Karachi (Masroor 133 mm, Faisal 92 mm, Saddar 84 mm up to midday June 6, 2010) with 35 mph winds under the influence of the cyclone, disrupting the city's railways and electricity transmission systems.[26] At least 15 people have been killed, mostly by electrocution, and dozens injured by Phet in Pakistan.[14] Phet has also left thousands of Pakistanis homeless.[14] In the evening, the storm moved past Karachi about 50 km far and made landfall between coastlines of Thatta and Badin, causing heavy rain in the area. Hyderabad power supply was also disrupted from the downpour.[27]

India[edit]

5 people were killed in the Indian state of Gujarat. Four people died in Kutch district in separate incidents of electrocution and lightning during the heavy rains that lashed the coastal areas and some other parts of Gujarat late on June 6. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the rains had been caused by Cyclone Phet which has weakened and is now over Rajasthan. On June 7 in Ahmedabad, a 10-year-old boy, fell into a pit filled with rainwater and drowned.[16][17]

The drought prone Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan was hit with torrential rains. The entire western Rajasthan was badly affected by the spell of heavy rains due to Phet. Jaisalmer received over 120 mm rain. According to Jaisalmer SDM Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, a number of villages, including Lathi near Pokhran, have been submerged in water. Around 35 houses washed away in the rains as water level rose to 10 feet in Lathi village.[28] The Army has been pressed into for the rescue operations and 300 villagers have been sent to safe places. The Air Force was also alerted.[29]

35 blackbucks and 11 chinkaras were killed in the Tal Chhapar wildlife sanctuary in Churu district. The Chhapar sanctuary is one of the few places in India where black bucks are present in large numbers. Of the 35 black bucks that failed to survive Cylone Phet, 12 were adult females. Eight were males and the remaining 15 were fawns.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tropical Cyclone "PHET" Made Landfall South of Karachi at 2130 PST". 
  2. ^ "Cyclone Phet damages may cost $780 mln". Reuters. 2010-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Chief Features and Forecast 2010-05-30 1200z". India Meteorological Department. 2010-05-30. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  4. ^ a b c "Significant Tropical Weather Advisory for the Indian ocean 2010-05-30 12z". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. 2010-05-30. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  5. ^ "Significant Tropical Weather Advisory for the Indian ocean 2010-05-30 18z". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. 2010-05-30. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  6. ^ "Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert 2010-05-31 06z". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  7. ^ "Tropical Weather Outlook 2010-05-31 0600z". India Meteorological Department. 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  8. ^ "JTWC Tropical Cyclone Advisory 2010-05-31 21z". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  9. ^ http://www.imd.gov.in/section/nhac/dynamic/pressrelease.pdf
  10. ^ "Oman braces for cyclone Phet". Chennai, India: Thehindu. June 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  11. ^ "Pakistan evacuates 60,000 as cyclone Phet looms". Daily DAWN. June 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  12. ^ "Hospitals on alert as cyclone warning for Karachi issued". Daily DAWN. June 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  13. ^ "Over 8,000 evacuated as Cyclone Phet expected to hit Gujarat coast on Friday". Times of India. June 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  14. ^ a b c Hashmi, Syed Moazzam (7 June 2010). "Cyclone "Phet" leaves 15 dead, thousands homeless in Pakistan". Xinhua. Retrieved 7 June 2010. 
  15. ^ a b "24 killed in Oman cyclone". Press Trust Of India. 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  16. ^ a b http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_rains-claim-four-lives-in-kutch_1393385
  17. ^ a b http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Four-killed-as-winds--heavy-rains-lash-Saurashtra--Kutch/630906
  18. ^ "Cyclone Phet turns to Pakistan after hitting Oman". The News International. 2010-06-05. Archived from the original on 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  19. ^ "Two rain-related deaths reported in Oman". Gulf News. 2010-06-05. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  20. ^ "16 die before Cyclone Phet leaves Oman". The Record. 2010-06-05. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  21. ^ MB, FTP (June 7, 2010). "9 killed as 'Phet' strikes Karachi". PRESS TV. Retrieved 7 June 2010. 
  22. ^ "Cyclone Phet hits Oman, causes floods". Gulf News. June 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  23. ^ DPA (2010-06-05). "The Hindu : News / International : Thunderstorm kills 37 as Pak awaits cyclone Phet". Chennai, India: Beta.thehindu.com. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  24. ^ "Pakistan | "No threat to Karachi port from Phet"". Dawn.Com. 2010-06-04. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  25. ^ "Government Of Pakistan". Pakmet.com.pk. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  26. ^ "Rain wrecks [sic] havoc in Karachi; scores hurt". GEO.tv. 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  27. ^ "Phet moves past Karachi, hits Thatta". GEO.tv. June 6, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  28. ^ "Phet effect: Flood-like situation in Jaisalmer". The Times Of India. 2010-06-09. 
  29. ^ "Heavy rain batters western Rajasthan". The Times Of India. 2010-06-08. 
  30. ^ http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/100935/India/phet-claims-35-black-bucks-&-11-chinkaras-in-rajasthan.html

External links[edit]