Cyclone Mora: North East India, Bangladesh brace for wind-speeds of 117 kmph; all you need to know

Cyclone Mora has formed in the east-central part of Bay of Bengal and it is expected to move towards the north-east part of India. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, it is expected to intensify into a 'severe cyclonic storm' over the next 24 hours. According to the IMD, wind speeds will be in the range of 100-150 kilometres per hour.

The storm made landfall in Bangladesh in the main port city of Chittagong at 6 am on Tuesday. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department said in a special weather bulletin that it is packing winds of up to 117 kilometres per hour after authorities evacuated hundreds of thousands of people from low-lying coastal villages. After this landfall, the storm is expected to dissipate, turn into a deep depression which cross Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

Along the Andaman Islands, the storm will result in wind speeds int he range of 40-50 kilometres per hour.

According to an Accuweather report, the coastal region of Bangladesh is prone to storm surges and that the topography along with high population density has earlier resulted in eight out of the top ten 'deadliest' cyclones to originate in the Bay of Bengal.

What does it look like?

A satellite image of Cyclone Mora. Image Courtesy: IMD

A satellite image of Cyclone Mora. Image Courtesy: IMD

Ganesh Kumar Das, a scientist in the Area Cyclone Warning Centre of IMD, Kolkata is quoted in DNA as saying, "Based on present conditions, the cyclone storm is likely to transform into a severe cyclonic storm and pass closer to the east coast of Bangladesh, near Chittagong. It will not make a landfall in India. We will only see heavy to very heavy rainfall in the range of 70-11 0mm as a result, and fishermen from Bengal have been warned not to venture into the sea due to squally winds...Just after landfall, the pattern will change and moisture will decrease as it move close to the hills. Usually, when a cyclone makes a landfall, the eastern side of the eye of the storm is the worst affected."

This satellite image shows Cyclonic Storm Mora moving towards Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal. Image Courtesy: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

This satellite image shows Cyclonic Storm Mora moving towards Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal. Image Courtesy: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

What are the warnings? 

30 May, 2017: Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall very likely over Assam and Meghalaya. Rainfall at most places
with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places very likely over Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

31 May, 2017: Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places very likely over Assam and Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

Gale winds speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph would prevail over Mizoram and Tripura on 30 May. Squally winds speed reaching 45-55 kilometres per hour gusting to 65 kilometres per hour would prevail over South Assam, Meghalaya and Manipur and along and off West Bengal coast on 30 May.

Expected damage over Mizoram and Tripura: IMD warns that there will be damage to thatched huts. Minor damage to power and communication lines due to breaking of branches. Major damage to Kutcha and minor damage to Pucca roads. Some damage to paddy crops, banana, papaya trees and orchards.

Sea conditions are expected to be extremely rough along and the off the coast of West Bengal on 30 May and fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea for the next 24 hours.

The Accuweather report says that there could be significant flooding in Guwahati, Jorhat, Dibrugarh.

What's being done about this?

The Mizoram government has issued a warning and has advised people to take precautions and preventive measures as it is expected that the cyclone could cause landslides and floods. According to a NDTV report, the Indian Navy's Eastern fleet ships have been put on the highest state of readiness to extend help to cyclone-hit parts of Bangladesh as well. A navy official is quoted in the report as saying, "It is likely to turn into deep depression and make a landfall in Bangladesh by tomorrow afternoon/evening. Indian Navy Eastern Fleet ships are at the highest state of readiness to render assistance if required."

According to a BBC report, in Bangladesh, port cities have been asked to display the highest warning system known as 'great danger level 10'.  Evacuation efforts were ongoing, with nearly 300,000 people already shifted to cyclone shelters, Bangladesh disaster management authority spokesman Abul Hashim said. "We are targeting zero casualties and we will try our best to evacuate more than a million before the landfall," he added.

This cyclone comes on the heels of heavy rains in Sri Lanka which have claimed at least 180 lives in floods and landslides; more than a 100 people are still missing.

How can I track this cyclone?

Click on this image. Image Courtesy: NOAA

Click on this image. Image Courtesy: NOAA

With inputs from AFP


Published Date: May 30, 2017 09:11 am | Updated Date: May 30, 2017 11:49 am

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