April 17, 2009

Bijli strikes Bangladesh!

Image courtesy Earth Snapshot

According to the previous prediction weather system "Bijli" gained strength to be a Tropical cyclonic storm is and rushing into Bangladesh's Southern shores, packing winds up to 90 kph. Warning signals have been raised by the authorities (more in BD News24).

People in Bangladesh has been complaining about extreme heat. The warm sea temperature is a bit to bother. Remember cyclone Nargis which striked Myanmar last year? It gained its energy due to warm ocean temperature:
Cyclones thrive on warm layers of ocean water that are at least 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit). As they traverse the ocean, they typically draw deep, cold water up to the ocean surface, a process that limits their ability to strengthen, and even weakens them as they evolve.

The satellite pictures are showing that it will make a landfall in the Chitatgong and Cox's Bazar region onto Myanmar:

Image courtesy NOAA

Update: TV channels are reporting that people are being evacuated as heavy rain and gusty winds increased in coastal lines. The landfall is expected during early morning of Saturday. BRAC blog reports:
Cyclone Bijli has hit land in Bangladesh as a category 1 storm. BRAC is currently monitoring Cyclone Bijli and all teams are prepared to respond. We have been coordinating closely with the Bangladeshi government and will continue to track the progress of the Cyclone.

Update II: Latest pictures of Bijli from Joint Typhoon Warning Center:

Update III: Thanks God Bijli did not do significant damage. According to BDNews24.com:

* At least five people, including two children, were killed (mostly due to lightening and tree fall)
* Reports were received of over 600 houses and about 650 hectares of cropland being damaged
* Thousands of mud-and-thatch homes were destroyed.
* Cyclone Bijli turned into a land depression early Saturday morning after striking the Chittagong-Cox's Bazar coastline overnight with winds of up to 100 kph.
* Chittagong seaport was up and running again from morning.Chittagong airport, which had also been closed the previous night, was operating again from 8am.

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