Cyclone Mocha: How climate change is making cyclones more in intense on both sides of the Indian coast.
This powerful storm has formed over the southeast Bay of Bengal and is expected to make landfall soon, crossing southeast Bangladesh and north Myanmar coasts as a very severe cyclonic storm.
Experts predict that Cyclone Mocha could bring with it heavy rainfall, strong winds, and high tidal waves that may cause severe flooding in low-lying areas. The authorities have advised people in these areas to move to higher ground and take shelter in designated evacuation centers.
RELEVANT SUSTAINABLE GOALS
While the arrival of Cyclone Mocha may come as no surprise to locals who are accustomed to the region’s tropical climate, its severity is still a cause for concern. As climate change continues to have an impact on our planet, we can expect to see more extreme weather events like this in the future.
Flooding, communications blackout as Cyclone Mocha hits Myanmar
The storm, with winds of up to 250 kilometres per hour (155 miles per hour), hit between Myanmar’s Sittwe and Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, an area home to nearly one million Rohingya refugees who were forced out of Myanmar in a 2017 military crackdown. The region is already facing a humanitarian crisis, and the cyclone has only worsened the situation.
Early reports from Myanmar suggest that Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state, has been badly damaged. Local media have shown hoardings buckled and thrown onto the road, fallen trees and pylons blocking the streets, and extensive flooding in the low-lying area due to a storm surge of as much as 3.5 metres. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) issued a flash update on Sunday, highlighting the extensive damage caused by the cyclone in the region.
Myanmar’s military information office reported that the cyclone caused damage in Sittwe, Kyaukpyu, and Gwa townships, while it tore roofs off sports buildings on the Coco Islands, located about 425km (264 miles) southwest of the country’s largest city, Yangon.
The main Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, appeared to have been spared the worst of the cyclone, but it is likely to take some time for a clearer picture to emerge. However, the situation in Rakhine state and Coco Islands is grim, with many people feared dead or injured, and thousands displaced.
The authorities are struggling to provide relief in the region due to the devastation caused by the cyclone and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The humanitarian community is calling for urgent assistance to be provided to those affected by the cyclone and to prevent further loss of life.