Cyclone Mocha may trigger landslides in three divisions

The effects will be felt by Saturday night, the Met Office said in its weather bulletin

Published : 13 May 2023, 05:01 AM
Updated : 13 May 2023, 06:37 AM

Landslides may occur due to heavy rains in Chattogram, Sylhet and Barishal divisions as the effect of Cyclone Mocha.The effects will be felt by Saturday night, the Met Office said in its weather bulletin.

Chattogram, Sylhet and Barishal divisions are likely to experience rainfalls of as much as 89 mm due to the effects of the storm.

The hill tracts of Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Chattogram are prone to landslides triggered by heavy rainfall.

The cyclone was 745-815 kilometres from the Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra ports on Saturday morning. It is set to intensify further and make landfall at Cox’s Bazar and North Myanmar coasts between 6 am to 6 pm on Sunday.

The maximum sustained wind speed within 74 km of the cyclone centre is about 160 kph, rising to 175 kph in gusts and squalls. The sea will be very rough near the cyclone centre.

“Flash floods, landslides can occur due to the effect of the storm and heavy rains. We have planned evacuations from the landslide-prone areas,” Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammed Mizanur Rahman said on Thursday.

“About 100 cyclone preparedness volunteers are ready in each camp,” Miznur said, adding that 3,300 volunteers are prepared in 33 camps for necessary work, which will be coordinated by government officials and non-government organisations.

“Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, law enforcers and different NGO officials had a meeting on cyclone preparedness on Thursday,” said Rohingya boatman Abu Sufiyan of Teknaf’s Leda Camp in Cox’s Bazar.

“Everyone was alerted by the authorities. If heavy rains trigger landslides, a huge number of Rohingya homes will collapse. People living in the hill tracts are very scared.”

Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar ports came under the great danger signal No. 8, while Mongla and Payra ports have been advised to keep local warning signal No. 4.

The Met Office said low-lying areas of Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar may face wind-driven storm surge of 8-12 feet above the normal level. The storm surge in the other districts with the local warning signal is likely to be 5-7 feet above the normal level.

The Met Office advised all fishing boats and trawlers to remain in shelter until further notice.

The World Meteorological Organization, an agency of the United Nations, forecasts that Mocha will further strengthen until landfall between Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh and Kyaukpyu in Myanmar, close to Sittwe on Sunday noon.

There will be major impacts both ahead and after landfall for potentially hundreds of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Cox’s Bazaar is home to nearly one million Rohingya refugees, the world’s largest camp. The state of Rakhine in neighbouring Myanmar has about six million people in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

This cyclone impact area both in Cox’s Bazaar and Rakhine is low-lying and highly prone to flooding. Heavy rains and strong winds are later expected to hit inland communities in the Northwest, which are also prone to landslides and flooding.