Cyclone Mocha, the first cyclone that may hit India in 2023, continues to keep everyone guessing about its possible course and severity. On Saturday (May 6) morning, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued warnings about the formation of a cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal.
The IMD tweeted that a cyclonic circulation had formed and lay over the southeast Bay of Bengal. A low pressure area (LPA) was likely to form by May 8 morning, and a depression around May 9.
A cyclonic circulation has formed and lay over the southeast Bay of Bengal and neighborhood at 0830 IST of today. LPA is likely to form by 8th May, morning and Depression around 9th May.
Visit https://t.co/EGetkpfaKk for more details. pic.twitter.com/ZgeANCWCnq
— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) May 6, 2023
At the same time, the IMD issued warnings for fishermen till May 10. Fishermen around Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been warned against venturing out to the sea till next Wednesday and those in Tamil Nadu’s Cape Comorin area till Sunday.
What global models predict
According to the IMD, the details of the cyclone’s path and intensification can be provided only after the LPA is formed. However, the Global Forecast System (GFS) model analysis reportedly indicates that the cyclone will move in a north-eastern direction towards the Bangladesh coast and cross it near Chittagong around 5.30 am (India time) on May 13. The GFS model also indicates the possibility of Mocha intensifying into a “very severe cyclonic storm” category.
Fisherman warning for next 5 days pic.twitter.com/fSH0nTWTqp
— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) May 5, 2023
Other international models, such as NCEP GFS and ECMWF, reportedly predict that Mocha may make landfall on the Myanmar coast between May 12 and 13.
States on alert
However, there are still chances that Mocha may make landfall as a very strong cyclone in Odisha and West Bengal. Therefore, these states are not taking any chances. In Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, in a high-level review meeting, has asked all departments to be ready for the cyclone. The weather department has reportedly issued a warning for 18 of Odisha’s 30 districts.
In West Bengal, all cyclone-prone districts have been put on alert. Both the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are prepared to face an emergency. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea from May 8 to May 11. Those who are in the deep sea have been advised to return to the coast by May 7 afternoon.
Watch: Cyclone Mocha updates | IMD issues warning in Bay of Bengal | West Bengal | Odisha
An alert has been issued for Tamil Nadu, too, as heavy rain is expected in Chennai and its suburbs. The state has put its coastal districts on alert. Andhra Pradesh is also expected to receive rain because of Cyclone Mocha.
The cyclone has been named by Yemen after its city by the same name (pronounced Mokha). The port city on the Red Sea coast is famous for its coffee trade and lent its name to mocha coffee as well.
(With agency inputs)