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article imageMillions of Mollusks deposited nightly on Pakistani beaches

By Kim I. Hartman     Jul 20, 2010 in World
Karachi - It's been six weeks since Cyclone Phet hit the city of Karachi in Pakistan. Since the storm ended many thousands of mollusks per day have washed ashore onto the popular tourist beach of Karachi and the smell is keeping everyone inside, away from the sea.
Pakistan's Environment Minister says Cyclone Phet which was reported on in June by Digital Journal, is responsible for depositing thousands of the sea creatures and other assorted shells onto the beach in Karachi.
Residents have complained of the foul stench caused by the dying shellfish and some people have been hurt by walking on broken shells. City officials dispatched dump trucks and loaders to clean up the mess but the mollusks are replaced each night with a brand new crop as the tide goes in and out leaving even more sea creatures to die while waiting to be cleaned up or harvested off the sandy beaches.
Tourists are staying far from the sea and residents of the seaside community say the stench is unbearable. City and government officials are trying to determine why this continues to happen each night when it wasn't a problem in the days leading up to Cyclone Phet's uneventful visit to the coastal region of Pakistan.
Resident's who are usually enjoying the cool breezes off the Arabian Sea are now suffering through the heat and humidity to keep the doors and windows shut in an effort to deal with this odorous aftermath. Horse and camel renting companies say that have had no business since the Mollusks took over since no vacationers were interested spending any time walking or riding along the ocean due to the sickening smell.
A task force has been formed to clean up the large number of seashells that have carpeted Sea View beach since Cyclone Phet, announced the minister for environment, Shaikh Muhammad Afzal, on Friday reports the Express Tribune.
Despite efforts to clean them, thousands of shells continue to amass in the area known as Seaview every day, resulting in a stench that has residents worried as to when there will be respite. Environmentalists say that the high waves of the monsoon season have started to awash the shoreline with shells since Cyclone Phet barely missed the metropolis, adding that this is not the first time that such a phenomenon has been witnessed along the coast of Karachi.
“After the cyclone, these seashells are being washed ashore every day. And they arrive in the millions. From 7 am to 6 pm every day; all of our machinery and labour is being used to clean the beach,” said Noorudin, an employee of Saleh Mohammad and Brothers who is responsible for supervising the beach cleanup project. He said that while the shells are picked up each day, an ever greater amount is accrued at the beach by the time they arrive the next day.
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