First cy­clone of the sea­son skips Myan­mar

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - KYI KYI SWAY news@mm­times.com

A red-level alert was down­graded to yel­low yes­ter­day, as an in­ten­si­fy­ing storm de­vel­op­ing over the Bay of Ben­gal veered north­west and is no longer fore­cast to make land­fall in Myan­mar.

A STORM gath­er­ing in the Bay of Ben­gal is now an­tic­i­pated to un­leash heavy rain on Myan­mar, but the cy­clone has turned north­west and is fore­cast to hit In­dia and Bangladesh in­stead.

The Depart­ment of Me­te­o­rol­ogy and Hy­drol­ogy said yes­ter­day that the cy­clone is no longer on track to make land­fall in Myan­mar. The red alert, in­di­cat­ing a storm is ex­pected to cross the coast­line within 12 hours, has been down­graded to yel­low, mean­ing the storm has formed but is not di­rected to­ward Myan­mar.

While no longer in the path of the sea­son’s first cy­clone, thou­sands of res­i­dents in the delta are still ex­pected to bear the brunt of the storm be­fore it curves. Labutta and Thandwe town­ships are still in the rage of gust­ing winds up to 40 miles (65 kilo­me­tres) per hour. Flood­ing con­tin­ues to be fore­cast as a ma­jor risk.

Res­i­dents of Aye­yarwady Re­gion’s Lubutta and Myaungmya town­ships and Haigyi is­land were evac­u­ated to shel­ters on Oc­to­ber 23, ac­cord­ing to U Ko Ko Naing, di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Min­istry of So­cial Wel­fare’s re­lief and re­set­tle­ment depart­ment. Since Thandwe is sit­u­ated on high ground, the res­i­dents were not trans­ferred.

Res­i­dents of Myaungmya town­ship were al­lowed to re­turn home yes­ter­day af­ter the DMH an­nounced the storm was chart­ing a north­west course.

The re­lief and re­set­tle­ment depart­ment said they have put in place an early warn­ing sys­tem to en­sure coastal res­i­dents can evac­u­ate and get to re­lief camps be­fore a ma­jor storm.

Rain lash­ing the coast is ex­pected to reach 10 to 12 inches (25-30 cen­time­tres) by to­mor­row, in­creas­ing the risk of flood­ing.

A separate de­pres­sion form­ing in the eastern Bay of Ben­gal could re­sult in an­other trop­i­cal cy­clone sys­tem later this week or early next week.

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