In June 2010, the coastline of Pakistan was threatened by cyclone Phet. Met Department had predicted that the devastating cyclone would hit Pakistan after striking Oman first. As the Makran coastline is near to Oman, it was to bear the major force of the cyclone.
Gawadar, Pasni, Ormara and other coastal areas of Baluchistan were evacuated, fishermen were warned not to go out in the sea and swimming in the sea was banned.
However despite all the precautionary steps, the cyclone caused heavy damage to life and property as many houses collapsed and people lost their lives; hundreds of boats were washed away in the sea as well.
Some coastal areas were cut off from the country as the flood water inundated the roads. Actually it was the torrential rains and gusty winds which did much of the damage.
The coastal areas of Sindh also sustained damages but not as much as Baluchistan as the intensity of cyclone had lessened. Thatta and Badin were the worst affected areas. The mega city of Karachi was spared as the cyclone hit between the Karachi coast and Keti Bunder.
In the Sindh Province too, wide spread rains wreaked havoc. As usual electricity was disrupted for hours, water gushed in the low lying areas even roads in urban areas turned into lakes rejecting the tall claims of the government. People in the relief camps too complained of inadequate measures of the government.
On the brighter side, the cyclone brought relief from the sweltering heat which had gripped the country as weather turned pleasant after the rainfall. The water level in the rivers increased. The entertainment starved people turned the cyclone into the butt of their jokes.
SMSes like “Interior Minister claims Taliban have accepted the responsibility of cyclone in Pakistan” and “Due to KESC’s load shedding, the cyclone lost its way and missed Karachi. KESC khapay” brought smiles on people’s faces. Although people were warned not to go near the beach, people thronged the beach to see the giant waves crash against the shores.
Some things never change; this phrase is particularly true for the people and government of Pakistan.