Cyclone Yaas, which has been moving to the west and north-western direction, has made an indication that it is most likely to make landfall on India's Odisha coast on 26 May reducing the possible risk of devastation in Bangladesh.
"As per the current course of the cyclonic storm, it is going to make landfall on Odisha coast – that is 350 kilometres away from Bangladesh coastal belt," said Dr Enamur Rahman, state minister for the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, after a meeting with the high officials of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, Fire Service and Civil Defence, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Monday.
The state minister said, "We are closely monitoring the direction of the cyclone as well as the preparations at the field level. We are blessed as the direction of the storm is not towards us."
"All the coastal people were made aware of the cyclone by the local volunteers from different organisations. Besides the volunteers, the local administration is ready to deal with any emergency," he added.
The centre of the cyclone was 585 kilometres away from the Bangladesh coast at 6pm Monday evening and had been staying at the same place, according to a special bulletin of the meteorological department. It was more than 500 kilometres away from the Odisha coast at the same time.
On Monday evening, the cyclone was centred about 655 kilometres south–southwest of Chattogram port, 590 kilometres south-southwest of Cox's Bazar, 630 kilometres south of Mongla port and 585 kilometres south of Payra port, according to the special bulletin.
Officials of the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) Kolkata said the landfall is expected on Wednesday noon with a varied wind speed of 140-185 kilometres per hour, reported The Hindu Monday.
There is a possibility of forming a storm-led tidal surge more than 4 meters high in the coastal regions where it is expected to make landfall. However, the surge may heighten by an additional meter or more due to full moon and high tide.
If Yaas does not change its course dramatically, Bangladesh might not witness any extra tidal surge except the gusty and squally winds.
Dhaka, Sylhet, Khulna, Barishal, and Rajshahi divisions and Noakhali and Lakshmipur districts may observe more than 150 mm of rainfall whereas Cox's Bazar and Chittagong may observe 70-90 mm of accumulated rainfall within the next ten days.
The country's maximum temperature on Sunday was recorded 39.8 degrees Celsius in Khulna and the minimum temperature on Monday was 24.0 degrees Celsius at Kutubdia.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department has asked the maritime ports of the country to hoist distant cautionary signal number two.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasted the cyclone Yaas could further intensify into a very severe cyclone by 12 noon Tuesday.
"Yaas moved north-westward at a speed of about 4 km per hour in the past six hours. In the next 12 hours, the cyclone can intensify into a severe cyclone and in the next 24 hours into a very severe cyclone," the IMD said in a bulletin at 12 noon Bangladesh Time on Monday.
The "Severe Cyclonic Storms" have storm force wind speeds of between 89–117 km per hour, while the "Very Severe Cyclonic Storms" have hurricane-force winds of 118–166 km per hour. The "Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storms" have hurricane-force winds of 166–221 km per hour.
The highest classification used in the North Indian Ocean is a "Super Cyclonic Storm", which has hurricane-force winds of above 222 km per hour.
HM Nazmul Haque, a meteorologist to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, said, "Till now, we are saying the cyclone can affect Odisha, West Bengal of India and Khulna coast of Bangladesh. From Tuesday, we will describe the movement and speed of the cyclone in the bulletin.
"Temperature will reduce in the southern part of the country. The whole country can witness some rain, especially the coastal districts," he added.
Temperature will drop
Light to moderate rain and thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty and squally wind is likely to occur at a few places in Dhaka, Khulna, Barishal, Chattogram and Sylhet divisions and at one or two places in Rangpur, Rajshahi and Mymensingh divisions with moderately heavy to heavy falls at places in the country, said the meteorological department's 24-hour weather forecast on Monday morning.
Mild to moderate heat wave is sweeping Rangpur, Rajshahi, Mymensingh, Dhaka, Khulna, Barishal, Chattogram and Sylhet divisions, which may abate in some places, according to the department.
Satkhira locals repairing embankments
People in the coastal areas of Satkhira were repairing damaged embankments voluntarily on Monday as Cyclone Yaas was approaching.
"Due to climate change, natural disasters hit the coastal areas every year. After the calamities, high-ups come and give some assurances. But we hardly saw any implementation. So, we are repairing the risky embankments on our own," said Shahin Billah, a resident of Patakhali village in Shyamnagar upazila of Satkhira.
"We, coastal people, are not afraid of storms, we are afraid of fragile embankments," he added.Rashedur Rahman, executive engineer of Satkhira Water Development Board-2, said 5.292 km of coastal protection embankments at 16 points in his area are at risk.
Abul Khair, executive engineer of Satkhira Water Development Board-1, said the 1.5-kilometre coast protection embankments at 29 points in Shyamnagar upazila are at risk.