Bangladesh bakes in heatwave as Cyclone Asani brews over bay

As six southern regions of Bangladesh swelter in unrelenting heat, a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal has turned into a cyclone.

Published : 8 May 2022, 06:26 AM
Updated : 8 May 2022, 06:26 AM

Sustaining winds of up to 88 kph, the cyclone has been named 'Asani' by Sri Lanka, which means 'wrath' in Sinhala.

After emerging as a well-marked low over the South Andaman Sea on Friday, the system rapidly intensified into a deep depression. By Sunday, it had accumulated enough energy to transform into a cyclonic storm.

According to a special weather bulletin issued by the Met Office, the storm was centred about 1,255 km south-southwest of Chattogram port, 1,175km south-southwest of Cox’s Bazar port, 1,250km south of Pyra port and 1,205km south of Mongla port at 6 am on Sunday.

The maximum sustained wind speed within 54 km of the cyclone centre was about 62 kph, rising to 88 kph in gusts and squalls.

Maritime ports in the south have been advised to hoist distant warning signal No. 2 as sea is expected to be very rough near the cyclone centre.

All fishing boats and trawlers over the North Bay and deep sea have been advised to remain close to the coast and proceed with caution. They are also advised not to venture into the deep sea.

The India Meteorological Department expects Asani to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours and remain in the east-central region of the Bay of Bengal.

According to the IMD's projected cyclone movement track, the storm will be close to the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coast by Tuesday. However, it is unlikely to make landfall and could cut a path similar to Cyclone Jawad that swerved past southern Odisha in December 2021.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh continues to reel under intense heat with Rangamati, Syedpur, Khulna, Mongla, Satkhira and Jashore currently experiencing the third heatwave of the summer, according to the Met Office.

Rangamati recorded the highest temperature in the country at 37 degrees Celsius on Saturday while the mercury rose to 35.2 degrees Celsius in Dhaka.

Meteorologist Shahinul Islam said the latest heatwave may continue for a few more days before spreading to other parts of the country. Day and night temperatures may rise slightly across Bangladesh.

Earlier in April, two heatwaves swept over different parts of the country, with temperatures soaring up to 41.2 degrees Celsius.

On Sunday, rains and thunderstorms are likely to lash Rangpur, Rajshahi, Dhaka, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Khulna, Barishal and a few parts of the Chattogram Division.

The long-term forecast for May predicts an intense heatwave, with temperatures north of 40 degrees Celsius, to hit the western part of the country. A couple of mild to moderate heatwaves may occur elsewhere.