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Cyclone Midhili Weakens
In a recent update from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclone Midhili has weakened into a deep depression after crossing the Bangladesh coast. As of now, it is positioned 50 km east-southeast of Agartala, the capital of Tripura. This development has brought a respite to Tripura and Mizoram, where heavy rains had wreaked havoc on the previous day.
Cyclone Midhili Current Position
The cyclonic storm, named “Midhili,” is currently situated over the Northeast Bay of Bengal, close to the coast of Bangladesh. Following substantial rainfall on the preceding day, government authorities in various northeastern states had issued alerts as a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm.
Meghalaya’s Cherry Blossom Festival
The adverse weather conditions impacted the initial day of Meghalaya’s Cherry Blossom Festival, leading to disruptions in festivities. Mizoram, Tripura, and Assam experienced varying levels of rainfall during this period, as reported by ANI.
Cyclone Midhili Expected Landfall
According to the IMD, Cyclone Midhili is expected to follow a north-northeastward trajectory and make landfall near Khepupara, Bangladesh, with winds reaching speeds of 60-70 kilometers per hour (kmph) and gusting up to 80 kmph on the evening and night of November 17, 2023.
The IMD’s latest bulletin indicates that the cyclonic storm, now a deep depression, is located about 50 km east-southeast of Agartala and 160 km southwest of Silchar. It is anticipated to further weaken into a Well-Marked Low (WML) over south Assam and adjoining Mizoram-Tripura in the next six hours.
As Cyclone Midhili crosses the Bangladesh coast close to Khepupara, the IMD forecasts heavy rainfall along the coastal regions, accompanied by a storm surge reaching up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) in height. Fishermen are strongly advised against venturing into the sea, and residents in low-lying areas are urged to evacuate to elevated grounds for their safety.
The cyclonic storm is expected to complete the landfall process with a maximum wind speed of 80 kmph. The IMD has predicted significant rainfall in Aizawl district, with forecasts indicating 51 mm between the mornings of November 17 and 18. Other districts, including Champhai, Kolasib, Lawngtlai, and Mamit, are also expected to experience heavy rainfall.
In Tripura, a red alert has been issued in four districts due to moderate rainfall caused by the cyclonic storm since Friday morning, according to an official from the state disaster management authority.
It’s noteworthy that the name “Midhili” has been assigned by the Maldives. The Purba Medinipur district administration in West Bengal has issued a warning regarding the imminent arrival of Cyclone Midhili.
The Meteorological office reported a substantial rainfall of 87 mm in the state capital, Agartala, since Thursday evening. Various locations in Assam, including Guwahati, have experienced both rainfall and brisk winds since Friday morning.
The cyclonic storm is projected to traverse the Sunderbans before reaching the Bangladesh coast, with the IMD forecasting a maximum wind speed of 80 kmph during Friday night or the early hours of Saturday morning.
In summary, Cyclone Midhili’s weakening into a deep depression has brought relief to Tripura and Mizoram, averting fresh rainfall on November 18. As the cyclonic storm approaches the Bangladesh coast, precautions are being taken, with warnings issued for potential heavy rainfall and storm surges. Fishermen are advised to stay ashore, and residents in vulnerable areas are urged to seek higher ground for their safety. The IMD continues to monitor the situation closely, providing timely updates and forecasts.
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