(BBC and ThaiResidents.com) – Tropical Cyclone Mora makes landfall in Bangladesh and Myanmar today (May 30) and this together with strong southwesterly monsoon over the Andaman Sea will bring abundant, torrential rainfall across Thailand today, the Thai Met Department warned..
The weathermen urged everyone to beware of heavy rain and likely flash floods especially at foothills and lowlands. All ships in the Andaman Sea were advised to proceed with caution and small boats keep ashore as waves will be strong.
However during May 31 to June 4, while the southwesterly monsoon will continue to prevail over both the Andaman Sea and Thailand, waves will weaken to two meters and rainfall will decrease in the upper part of the country.
According to Cyclonane.com, at 7 am this morning Cyclone Mora’s wind speed was 65 knots / 75 MPH with maximum predicted wind speed also being at this level.
Meanwhile Bangladeshi authorities have been trying to evacuate up to a million people before powerful Cyclone Mora makes landfall today, BBC said
Port cities in the south-east have been asked to display the highest warning system known as “great danger level 10”. Ports further west are on level 8.
The cyclone formed after heavy rains in Sri Lanka caused floods and landslides that killed at least 180 people.
The worst flooding in 14 years on the island has affected the lives of more than half a million people. More than 100 people remain missing.
In Bangladesh, people in Chittagong district have been flocking to nearly 500 cyclone shelters as warnings were announced on loudspeakers.
Schools and government offices are being used to shelter people, and residents of hilly areas are also being urged to evacuate.
Low-lying areas of Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong and many other coastal districts are “likely to be inundated” by a storm surge of 1.2m-1.5m (4-5 feet) above normal levels, the meteorological department warned.
“We are targeting zero casualties and we will try our best to evacuate more than a million before the landfall,” disaster management authority spokesman Abul Hashim told the AFP news agency.
He said nearly 300,000 people had already been moved to cyclone shelters.
Though Bangladesh is used to cyclones, many people don’t live in dwellings sturdy enough to withstand bad weather, the BBC’s South Asia editor Charles Haviland says.
Their lives, and the crops on which so many of them depend, he says, are constantly at risk when cyclones hit.
Fishing boat and trawlers have been advised to remain in port, and coastal ferries have suspended operations
Bangladesh is yet to fully recover from flash floods in the north-east of the country in April that destroyed rice crops and pushed rice prices to record highs.
Heavy rains are also expected in parts of north-eastern India due to Cyclone Mora.
Top: A satellite image showing Cyclone Mora moving into Bangladesh and Myanmar today. Photo: Cyclocane.com
First nset: This map shows the path Cyclone Mora is expected to take today. Photo: Cyclocane.com
Second inset: Shops were packed up at the beach in Patenga, in Chittagong. Photo: EPA via BBC
Third inset: Hundreds of thousands of people are being evacuated to shelters. Photo AFP via BBC
Below: Flooding in Sri Lanka displaced more than half a million people. Photo: Reuters via BBC