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Tropical Cyclone 02B (Aila) Makes Landfall, Causing Floods and Tidal Waves

22.5N 88.3E

May 26th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Cyclone 02B (Aila) - May 26th, 2009

Tropical Cyclone 02B (Aila) - May 26th, 2009

TC 02B color composite © IMD

TC 02B color composite

Tropical Cyclone 02B (Aila), over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and adjoining parts of Bangladesh, has moved further northward and weakened into a deep depression.

The cyclone made landfall yesterday, slamming into the coastal areas of eastern India and Bangladesh with 110 kph winds, killing at least 17 people and leaving thousands homeless.

Aila, which is currently located approximately 105 nautical miles north of Kolkata (Calcutta), India, has tracked northward at 13 knots over the past six hours.

The system still has a defined low level circulation center with a defined convective band wrapping around the northern periphery into the center.

TC 02B has been moving into an increasingly hostile environment with moderate vertical wind shear and interaction from land during the last 6 hours.

As of this morning it lay centred over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, about 50 km to the north of Malda. The system is likely to move in a near northerly direction, and continue to gradually lose strength overland as it moves into an increasingly dry environment. It is forecast to weaken into a depression during next six hours.

Under its influence, rainfall at most places is heavy, with some isolated extremely heavy falls greater than 25cm likely over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, and Assam and Meghalaya for the next 24 hours. In these areas, squall-like wind speeds reaching 50-60kph are also expected during the next 12 hours.

Rain and thundershowers are also likely at many places with isolated heavy falls over Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram and Tripura during the next 24 hours.

After Aila made landfall, mud embankments in West Bengal burst as heavy rains swelled the rivers, reports CBC news. In Kolkata, West Bengal’s state capital, trees were uprooted and communication lines were brought down. At least 10 people died in West Bengal because of collapsed buildings and fallen trees.

Meanwhile, the storm triggered tidal waves in the Bay of Bengal that slammed into low-lying coastal Bangladesh, damaging thousands of houses, and killing at least seven people.

Thousands of people were evacuated from the Khulna district ahead of the storm but about 15,000 people are believed to still be stranded in eight flooded villages.

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