KARACHI - It appears that few members of the Sindh Assembly are concerned about the damage which the cyclone Nilofar may inflict on the province’s coastal areas.

On Tuesday when a lawmaker raised the matter of any precautionary measures taken by the government ahead of the approaching storm, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani was quick to hush the matter away.

“It looks like Nilofar could be an influential lady in past,” Durrani joked. When a lady lawmaker insisted that the House should know of the safety measures taken in this regard, the Speaker assured her that nothing could harm Karachi as long as Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s tomb was near the sea. “(Saint) Abdullah Shah Ghazi has saved us many times before and he will save us this time as well,” he said. Durrani went on to say that those afraid of ‘Nilofar’ could move towards the Sindh’s countryside.

Following the situation, Sharjeel Memon assured that government is serious to tackle the Nilofar storm. He further said all institutions were on high alert regarding the storm whereas Section 144 has been imposed at the Sea View.

Severe tropical cyclone Nilofar, which officials say is intensifying gradually, is expected to hit parts of Pakistan and India in coming days.

According to an advisory placed by the Met Department at its website, the cyclone is located at latitude 15.5°N and longitude 61.9°E, about 1,140 kilometre south-southwest of Karachi and 1,060 kilometre south of Gwadar. The cyclone, which started developing in the northwest Arabian Sea five to seven days ago is expected to bring heavy rainfall in Sindh’s coastal areas.

As the Sindh Assembly session presided over by speaker Agha Siraj Durrani commenced on Tuesday, member of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Shazia Farooq stood up on her seat and argued over Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon’s comment of calling her husband a terrorist instead of a martyr.

Agha Siraj kept explaining her the rules and regulations but she remained insistent. Shazia Farooq got emotional while protesting against the derogatory comments and demanded an apology. Other members of the assembly came forward to console her.

WIDESPREAD RAINS LIKELY

Under the influence of severe tropical cyclone Nilofer in Arabian Sea, widespread rain/thundershowers with isolated heavy/very heavy falls accompanied by strong gusty winds are expected in lower Sindh including Karachi and coastal areas of Balochistan during Wednesday (night) to Friday.