Cyclone Mocha likely to cross Bangladesh coast by afternoon

Gust front begins battering Teknaf. The photo is taken from Teknaf coastal area at around 10:30 am on 14 May, 2023Sazid Hossain

Very severe cyclonic storm Mocha has been crossing the Cox’s Bazar and North Myanmar coasts, said the latest special bulletin of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD).

As an effect of the cyclone it has started raining and the gusts has also increased.

The cyclone is likely to move north-northeasterly direction and complete crossing the coastal areas of Cox’s Bazar and North Myanmar by Sunday afternoon, said the bulletin no. 19 issued by BMD at 9:45 am.

The meteorological office said the very severe cyclonic storm Mocha over northeast Bay and adjoining area moved north-northeastwards over the same area and was centred about 335 km south-southwest of Chattogram port, 250 km south-southwest of Cox’s Bazar port, 435 km south of Mongla port and 350 km south of Payra port at 9:00 am Sunday.

It likely to move north-northeastern direction and complete crossing the coastal areas of Cox’s Bazar and North Myanmar near Sittwe, Myanmar by this afternoon, the bulletin added.

Meteorologist Bajlur Rashid told Prothom Alo on Sunday, “There could be gusts and heavy rainfall in Teknaf and Saint Martin’s island after 12:00 pm today (Sunday). And, Mocha could complete crossing the coastal areas by afternoon.”

The BMD said the sustained wind speed within the 74 kms of very severe cyclone Mocha is 195 kph which is rising up to 215 kph in gusts or squalls. Sea remains very rough near the storm centre, the weather forecast added.

The coastal district of Cox’s Bazar and its offshore islands and chars were asked to hoist great danger signal no. 10, while the Chattogram and Payra sea ports will come under great danger signal no. 8. Mongla sea port asked to hoist local warning signal no. 4.

The coastal districts of Chattogram, Feni, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Chandpur, Barishal, Bhola, Patuakhali, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Barguna and their offshore islands and chars will come under great danger signal no. 8.

Under the peripheral effect of very severe cyclone, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Cox’s Bazar and Chattogram and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by the surge of 8-12 feet above normal astronomical tide, according to the BMD bulletin.

Under the effect of the very severe cyclonic storm, there could heavy (44-88mm) to very heavy (89mm) rainfall in Chattogram, Sylhet, and Barishal divisions. Due to very heavy rainfall there could be mudslides in places of the hilly areas of Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Chattogram.