After parts of Pakistan in and around the city of Karachi were severely hit by the tropical cyclone Yemyin on Tuesday, the provincial government announced a Rs71 million relief package for the rain victims.
Though the city government claimed that it had moved residents of the fishing village of Mubarak to safety, Khuda Gang Shah, the general-secretary of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) replied that people had not been evacuated and that a state of despair prevailed in Mubarak and other fishing villages along the coast.
A press release issued by the PFF stated that the coastal areas in Sindh, including Keti Bunder, Kharo Chaan, Jangisar, Tharewari, Sajjanwari, Tar Dhandh, Bighan, Mor Chodia, Shah Bander and Jati in Thatta district hadbeen severely affected by the rains and that about 20,000 houses had been destroyed. As many as 200 beetle leave farms and 100 poultry farms had also been demolished.
Several fishing vessels which had ventured out to sea before a cyclone warning had been issued by the Met Office, were rescued on Tuesday, but the PFF said 18 fishing boats manned by 264 people were still unaccounted for.
PFF President Mohammad Ali Shah said that radio sets were the only source of information for fishermen but that, while fishing in creeks, they tended to ignore warnings in the belief that cyclones posed no great threat to them.
The missing boats listed by the PFF are Khan Mir, Noorani, Rahim Dad, Dirya Doulat, Jane Ya Ali, Al-Khuda, Brother 1, Rab Rakha, Jillani, Marwat, Dil Dirya, Ghulam, Imran, Al Javed, Al Shori, Al Maki, Chaudhry and Maula Madad. Such boats carry an average of 12 to 15 crew members.
Daily News (Karachi)
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF)