April 30, 2008

Cyclone Nargis on the way: Bangladesh needs to worry

Any cyclone is a bad news, especially for the countries surrounding the Bay of Bengal. Because of the shape of the bay any tropical weather system tend to push towards the pointed peak, where Bangladesh lies.

Tropical Cyclone Nargis is gathering strength and momentum somewhere over west central Bay and adjoining southwest Bay, some 1000 km away from Bangladesh.

(Image credit: Weather Underground -click here for update)

Although the prediction on April 28 that the cyclone will move towards Myanmar, it still can change course and hit Bangladesh. However the Weather office only issued warnings to all fishing boats and trawlers and requested to stay close to the coast.

The satellite image of the cyclone looks scary:

(Image credit: NRL Monterey Marine Meteorology Division)

Chris Mooney, the cyclone Pundit warns:
What's most troubling is that Nargis has a very warm Indian Ocean to travel over, as you can see in this data from the Atlantic Oceanic and Meteorological Laboratory:

A Very Warm Bay of Bengal Means Cyclone Nargis Will Hit Hard – Somewhere.
According to the Joint Typhoon warning center, The cyclone is on a course to make a landfall in Myanmar in 48 to 72 hours, but this can change rapidly. The waves can rise to as high as 27 feet.

God save Bangladesh this time.

Update- May 1, 2008: Experts say the cyclone has altered its course and within a day it will hit the Chittagong coastal region in the Southeast. Bangladeshi farmers have been urged to speed up the rice harvest before the cyclone.

Update II -May 4, 2008: Bangladesh is lucky as Nargis held on to its course. But Myanmar was not that lucky:
State television, which was still off air in Rangoon more than 36 hours after Nagris slammed into the city of five million, reported 20 000 homes destroyed on one island alone.

Utter war zone," one diplomat said in an email to Reuters in Bangkok. "Trees across all streets. Utility poles down. Hospitals devastated. Clean water scarce."
Death toll 351 and rising according to official figures.


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