Cyclone Mocha intensified into a severe cyclonic storm this evening at 5:30 pm, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Thursday. The cyclonic storm lay centered about 520 km west of Port Blair and 1,100 km southwest of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) teams have arrived in West Bengal’s Digha. The authorities have asked tourists and fishermen not to venture into the sea on May 12 and 13.
On Wednesday, IMD-Kolkata’s Deputy Director General Sanjib Banerjee said cyclone Mocha was not likely to have much impact in Bengal. “The landfall of the cyclone will be between Bangladesh and Myanmar. Fishermen and people have been warned not to venture near the sea,” he said.
The IMD said heavy rainfall over the Andaman Islands was likely on Friday (May 12) in view of the deep depression over the Bay of Bengal. The Indian Coast Guard units in West Bengal and Odisha have been put on high alert and standby to meet any eventuality.
The storm is likely to make landfall between Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh and Kyaukpyu in Myanmar on Sunday. GK Das, Director (Weather) at Regional Meteorological Centre, Kolkata, said the storm will turn into a very severe cyclonic storm over the southeast and adjoining areas of the central Bay of Bengal on Friday (May 12).
Then it will weaken slightly from May 13 and pass between the coasts of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh and Kyaukpyu in Myanmar (Rakhine State) around the forenoon of May 14 with a maximum sustained wind speed of 110-120 kmph gusting to 130 kmph.
Meanwhile, the fishermen of the Andaman and Nicobar coasts have been advised not to venture into the sea till May 13. The Directorate of Shipping Services in Port Blair said that the foreshore sector and harbour/vehicle ferry services at Port Blair and outstations may get disrupted or suspended on short notice depending upon the weather condition. “Therefore, the passengers, daily commuters, and tourists have been advised to plan their journey suitably to avoid any inconvenience.”
Passengers and tourists can also get update/status of the vessels from the Information Counter at Phoenix Bay by dialling phone number 03192 – 245555/232714, Toll-Free Number 18003452714.
The cyclonic storm is likely to cause heavy rainfall till May 12 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The name ‘Mocha’ has been suggested by Yemen after the Red Sea port city. The Emergency Operation Centres are working round the clock to handle any natural calamities in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
(With inputs from PTI)