“Extremely severe” cyclonic storm Mocha is making landfall over the Myanmar-Bangladesh coasts, the weather office said, adding that the landfall process has started. The maximum sustained wind speed would be 180-190 kmph gusting to 210 kmph, it added.
The powerful cyclone made landfall shortly after midday on the Teknaf shorelines before making its way through the Naf River that divides Bangladesh and Myanmar.
“It is very likely to move north-northeastwards and cross southeast Bangladesh and north Myanmar coasts between Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh) and Kyaukpyu (Myanmar), close to Sittwe (Myanmar) within a few hours as an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 180-190 kmph gusting to 210 kmph,” it said.
Disaster Management Force personnel were on high alert along the coastal areas of Purba Medinipur and South 24 Parganas districts of West Bengal, news agency PTI said, quoting an official.
Seven groups of NDRF personnel including divers were deployed in Digha-Mandarmani coastal areas in Purba Medinipur district as the sea turned choppy, the official said.
United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization said it hopes that everyone in the path of Mocha stays safe, including vulnerable refugees and displaced.
— World Meteorological Organization (@WMO) May 14, 2023
Heavy rainfall along with gale is occurring over the north Myanmar-Bangladesh coasts and the forward sector of the eye wall is entering into these coastal areas, the India Meteorological Department said.
Mocha started hitting the coastlines of Bangladesh and Myanmar on Sunday after intensifying into the equivalent of a category-five storm.
The Myanmar Red Cross Society said it was “preparing for a major emergency response”.
The peripheral effect of Cyclone Mocha began over the coastal areas of Chattorgram and Barishal divisions earlier today, according to the latest bulletin of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), Dhaka Tribune reported.
Cyclone Mocha began to crash ashore at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border on Sunday, Bangladesh’s weather office said, uprooting trees and bringing driving rain to a region home to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees.
Cyclone Mocha is the most powerful storm to hit Bangladesh since Cyclone Sidr, Azizur Rahman, the head of Bangladesh’s Meteorological Department, told news agency AFP.
Sidr hit Bangladesh’s southern coast in November 2007, killing more than 3,000 people and causing billions of dollars in damage.
Bangladesh and Myanmar evacuated hundreds of thousands of people as Cyclone Mocha was set to make landfall, potentially causing widespread destruction to one of the most vulnerable areas in the region, Bloomberg reported.
Meteorologists previously warned Mocha could be the most powerful storm seen in Bangladesh in nearly two decades.