Saturday, 21 May 2016

Cyclone Roanu approaches India and Bangladesh

Bangladesh relocates millions as cyclone Roanu approaches

20 May, 2016

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh is relocating around 2 million people from its coastal areas ahead of cyclone Roanu's likely landfall on Saturday evening, officials said on Friday, an event that has also kept authorities in neighboring India and Myanmar on edge.

The cyclonic storm brought about heavy rains this week in Sri Lanka, triggering two landslides that were feared to have killed around 150 people and forced more than 223,000 persons from their homes.

"Low-lying areas of (Bangladesh's) coastal districts ... are likely to be inundated by storm surge of 4-5 feet height above normal astronomical tide," its weather office said on its website. (

India Meteorological Department said on Friday evening the storm was likely to move along the country's east coast and intensify into a "severe" cyclone in the next 24 hours, before crossing the south Bangladesh coast on May 21 as a cyclonic storm with lesser intensity. (

Bangladesh's disaster ministry secretary Mohammad Shah Kamal told reporters the country had already taken "all sorts of steps" to minimize any losses, including moving people away from the eye of the storm. India's Andhra Pradesh state has also moved some people from low-lying areas.

Bangladesh, a poor South Asian country, has been one of the worst victims of nature's fury in recent years. More than 3,000 people were killed by Cyclone Sidr in 2007 and around 200 lives were lost to Cycline Aila in 2009.

Deadly Cyclone Roanu to incite major flooding, landslides in northeastern India and Bangladesh

21 May, 2016

Deadly Cyclone Roanu will bring a major flood risk to northeastern India and Bangladesh as it slams onshore during the first half of the weekend.
The first tropical cyclone of the season in the Bay of Bengal will make landfall in Bangladesh, near or just north of Chittagong, on Saturday.
The cyclone will continue to graze India's northern Odisha and West Bengal coasts into Friday night. Rain will generally total 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) with locally higher amounts, triggering some incidents of flooding.
As the cyclonic storm traverses the Bay of Bengal from the Indian coast to Bangladesh, it is expected to gain strength and become a Severe Cyclonic Storm with maximum sustained winds of 90-115 km/h (55-70 mph).
The south-central coast of Bangladesh is at risk for flooding storm surge and wind gusts of 95-125 km/h (60-80 mph) as Roanu moves onshore. Power outages, tree damage and structural damage may result.
"The major threat from Roanu will continue to be flooding," AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards said.
This threat will expand well beyond the point of landfall, encompassing southern Bangladesh, northeastern India and western and northern Myanmar.
In northeastern India, this includes Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and eastern parts of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Widespread rainfall totals of 150-300 mm (6-12 inches) are expected this weekend, raising significant concerns for life-threatening flooding and landslides.
"There will be localized amounts in excess of 300 mm (12 inches)," Richards said.
That is especially true in the higher terrain.
Residents living in areas prone to flooding or landslides should prepare to evacuate or seek other shelter. Some communities could be cut off by damaged or flood-ravaged roads and bridges.
Roanu caused deadly flooding and mudslides in Sri Lanka earlier this week. The Associated Pressreports that more than 60 people were killed. Lightning, landslides and falling trees are all causes for death since Monday. Hundreds are missing after mudslides devastated three villages in the central district of Kegalle.

A Sri Lankan man uses an inflatable tube to move through a flood-affected area in Wellampitiya, outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, May 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
While the rain spread from Sri Lanka then up the eastern coast of India, intense heat worsened across western India as the circulation around Roanu pulled in dry and warmer air. On Thursday, Phalodi in Rajasthan set the all-time record high for India when temperatures soared to 51 C (123.8 F).
The extreme heat will ease for this weekend, but hot conditions will continue to put a strain on residents throughout western and northern India well into next week.

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