Developing storm threatens Myanmar, Bangladesh

Tropical depression in northern Bay of Bengal expected to bring flooding to Myanmar and Bangladesh in the coming days.

    A developing tropical depression in the northern Bay of Bengal is expected to bring flooding rain to Myanmar and Bangladesh in the coming days.

    According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the depression will track northeastwards towards Myanmar through Sunday, before curving northwestwards towards Bangladesh.

    Torrential rain is likely to cause flooding across much of coastal Myanmar, Bangladesh and some of India’s eastern states.

    The depression is gathering energy from the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Sea surface temperatures are between 29 and 30C, warm enough for further development of this system.

    Winds of at least 119 kilometres per hour are required for this depression to become a cyclone. Even if these wind speeds are not reached, it will remain a dangerous system as flooding is often a greater threat to life than winds alone. In excess of 250mm of rain is possible as this system brings moisture-laden winds in from the Bay of Bengal.

    According the United Nations Risk Model, Myanmar is the most at risk country for natural disasters. The two million inhabitants of the Ayeyarwady Delta region alone are vulnerable to flooding.

    There are two cyclone seasons in the Bay of Bengal. This first is between April and June, when the air is becoming moister, but the upper atmospheric winds of the impending southwesterly monsoon are still relatively light. This allows cyclones to form unhindered.

    A second peak occurs between September and early December, as the southwesterly monsoon retreats.

    For Myanmar, flooding is statistically a greater risk during the early cyclone season. In May 2008, Cyclone Nargis was responsible for the deaths of more than 138,000 people in Myanmar.

    In Bangladesh, the cyclone severity is greatest during the second peak. One of the deadliest cyclones ever recorded, hit Bangladesh in November 1970, killing an estimated 300,000 people. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.