Storm may turn into cyclone—Severe weather predicted for Myanmar coast with heavy rain, flooding


A large tropical depression in the northern Bay of Bengal is moving towards the Myanmar coast, prompting the issuance of a code red weather warning for the Ayeyawady Delta and the southern part of the Rakhine coast by the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.
Winds of up 45 miles per hour may batter the two regions, the weather bureau said, with winds of up to 30 to 35 miles per hour possible for the Yangon Region.
The depression will track northeast towards Myanmar through Sunday before curving northwest towards Bangladesh, according to the weather bureau.
The major tropical depression will be likely to result in thunderstorms and isolated heavy rainfall over Nay Pyi Taw, Sagaing Region, Mandalay Region, Magway Region, Bago Region, Yangon Region, Ayeyawady Region, Taninthayi Region, Chin State, Rakhine State, Kayin State and Mon State from 24 to 27 October, the weather bureau said.
The weather bureau has also predicted the strong possibility of flash flooding and landslides across Myanmar as the tropical depression approaches the Ayeyawady Delta before curving towards Bangladesh.
Those living in highland areas are being warned to be prepared for possible landslides, and those living in coastal areas and near rivers have been advised to take precautions against possible flash flooding and high tides.
The depression can result in large waves with frequent squalls along the coastline and in the off-shore seas of Myanmar. Surface winds could reach 45 to 50 miles per hour, the weather bureau said.
The depression is gathering energy from the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Sea surface temperatures are between 29 and 30C, warm enough for further development of this system, the weather agency warned.
Winds of at least 119 kilometres per hour are required for this depression to become a cyclone. Even if these wind speeds are not reached, it will remain a dangerous system as flooding is often a greater threat to life than winds alone. In excess of 250mm of rain is possible as this system brings moisture-laden winds in from the Bay of Bengal.
There are two cyclone seasons in the Bay of Bengal. The first is between April and June, when the air is becoming moister, but the upper atmospheric winds of the impending southwesterly monsoon are still relatively light. This allows cyclones to form unhindered. The second peak occurs between September and early December, as the southwesterly monsoon retreats.
Myanmar’s weather bureau also forecasts that the deep depression may intensify into a Cyclonic Storm During next 12 hours and reach near Myanmar Coast of the delta area, recurve and continue North-Northwest wards. According to the observations at 6.30 pm yesterday, the deep depression over the eastcentral Bay of Bengal remains partially stationary, centering at about 85 miles North-Nowthwest of Coco-Island, 85 miles Southwest of Hainggyi Island, 125 miles Southwest of Pathein and 155 miles South-Southwest of Gwa and 205 miles Southwest of Yangon.
The probably maximum storm surge is about 7 to 10 feet at Labutta district in Ayeyawady Region, Thandwe district in Southern Rakhine State.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement is on alert while carrying out preparedness to quickly respond to disasters to be brought by the deep depression. It has also urged the people to follow the instructions of local authorities while listening to information released by the government. The ministry has urged the people to contact its hot-line 067-404666 and 067 404777 if they want to know storm-related information.

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