Cyclone Approaches West Burma, Raising Alarm for IDPs

NASA’s Terra satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Jamala in the southern Indian Ocean and the much larger Tropical Cyclone 01 B in the Northern Indian Ocean on May 10, 2013. (Photo: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team)

NASA’s Terra satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Jamala in the southern Indian Ocean and the much larger Tropical Cyclone 01 B in the Northern Indian Ocean on May 10, 2013. (Photo: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team)

RANGOON—A tropical cyclone is expected to hit west Burma’s Arakan State next week, according to a warning by the US military on Friday, raising concerns of possible humanitarian disaster for tens of thousands of displaced people living in makeshift camps and flood-prone areas.

A “severe cyclonic storm” is expected to make landfall on Tuesday night, the US Navy and Air Force’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center has forecast, according to an alert by the Tropical Storm Risk, a UK-based storm forecaster.

One-minute maximum sustained winds could reach 166 km/h, while wind gusts may be even stronger, the alert said.

Tropical Cyclone 01B, which formed over the Indian Ocean, is expected to damage buildings, trees, mobile homes and piers in the state, with coastal and low-lying escape routes likely flooding several hours before arrival of the storm’s center, the alert said. There is also a potential for flooding farther inland.

Burma’s meteorology department said it was aware of the warning and preparing for the storm.

“We’ve already sent a warning to authorities in relevant regions, including the natural disaster prevention committee,” Kyaw Moe Oo, deputy director general of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, told The Irrawaddy by phone from Naypyidaw on Friday.

Ahead of monsoon season, the UN refugee agency last month called on Burma’s government to urgently increase aid to Arakan State, where more than 100,000 people were displaced in clashes between Buddhists and Muslims last year.

“UNHCR is seriously concerned about the risks facing over 60,000 displaced people in flood-prone areas and in makeshift shelters,” a spokesperson said, according to an online statement by the refugee agency, which added that the monsoon season from May to September was expected to bring heavy rains and possible cyclones. “The most critical sites are in Sittwe, Pauktaw and Myebon, where the displaced are living near the coast and are vulnerable to tidal surges.”

The newly formed Tropical Cyclone 01B could affect areas in Bangladesh, India and Burma, according to Eric Leister, a meteorologist reporting for US-based AccuWeather.com, who said it was one of two tropical cyclones that formed from a large unsettled zone of weather in the Indian Ocean this week.

The second storm, Tropical Cyclone Jamala, does not pose a serious risk to landfall, he reported, as it is expected to drift south and then westward over the open Indian Ocean during this time.

Five years ago, a cyclone that hit Burma’s densely-populated Irrawaddy delta region in May 2008 killed at least 138,000 people. Relief efforts for the humanitarian disaster were severely slowed after Cyclone Nargis because Burma’s former military regime initially refused offers of international aid.


9 Responses to Cyclone Approaches West Burma, Raising Alarm for IDPs

  1. There are two possibile landfalls- near Sittwe or Gwa Townships. Pre-monsoon cyclones are normally severe, near to Hurricane intensity. In this regard, great care, precaution, must be taken in these two areas-lListen to latest weather news and prepare for evacuation.
    If this tropical storm brings southwest monsoon, we could say that the arrival of monsoon is normal- just in time.

  2. Addendum;
    We can clearly see a red ( where temerature is very high ) cloud bends in the northeast of the main cloud bends in this IR satellite picture. If it follows to the warmest region, we can predict that the tropical storm will recurve before it reaches to lattitude 18 degree North- normal lattitude of recurve. It indicates that the tropical storm will strike the Rakhine Coast near or south of Than Dwe ( Sandoway ).

  3. This satellite picture shows two seperated cloud bends, main cloud bend with a well organized pattern and another smaller cloud bend in the southeast of the main cloud bend. Tropical storms normally follow the area where the sea temeperature is high. It indicates that the tropical storm will recurve before it reaches to latitude 18 degree north. If it is true, it will strike the Rakhine Coast near or south of Than Dwe (Sandoway).

  4. Indication of the cloud pattern, we can clearly see there is a red ( red means temperature is high) cloud bend in the northeast of the main cloud bend.Naturally tropical stroms follow the area where sea surface temperature if high. This indication tells that the storm will recurve before it reaches to latitude 18 degree north- normal latitude of recurve. If it is true, it will strike the Rakhine Coast near or south of Than Dwe (sandoway).

  5. It is most inhumane of any creature to willingly put people into hardship and death. By quiet assent all are guilty.

  6. Watch out! pre-monsoon tropical stroms are generally very intense with maximum wind speed raching more than 100 mph. Most of the strom froming in the Bay of Bengal in May cross Rakhine Coast except for a few of them cross Deltaic areas. Listen to the latest weather news and preparing for evacuation.

  7. aha! an effective natural way to deal with those “illegal bengalis”. remember the junta vs 100000’s of mostly delta karens, Nargis 2008.

  8. 969 and their cloud-seeding antics…

  9. The Ordinary People of Burma

    The last time a cylcone hit Myanmar was in 2008 after the killings of the monks and the Salfron Revolution.

    This time the next cyclone is going to hit the western coast of Myanmar in 2013 after the senseless killings and destructions of so many in the Arakan State and in the country.

    This is no coincidence but a warning that all these senseless and irrational destructions by men must stop.

    No one is above the other except all men are made equal and have the right to live just like any others.

    Take heed…fellow countrymen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available. Comments with external links in the body text will be deleted by moderators.