AFAP manages the Australian-Pacific Centre for Emergency and Disaster Information (APCEDI) to provide news on natural disaster events in the Asia-Pacific region and to help with rapid disaster response assessment. This was originally a communications network that was activated during a disaster to disseminate information to our Asia-Pacific NGO offices. Now APCEDI has a much wider application across the Asia-Pacific Region.

Friday, April 28, 2006

APCEDI ALERT Bay of Bengal (BOB-02B), Cyclone Mala, #1, 2006: Cyclone Mala Threatens Andamans and Arakan Coast

Cyclone Mala formed in the Bay of Bengal, west of the main Andaman Islands, two days ago. It has steadily increased in strength and is now a Category 2 on the Saffir Simpson Scale and steadily increasing in strength.

The India Department of Meteorology and the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre are continuing to provide guidance and tracking information.

On the current forecast track, Cyclone Mala will pass to the northwest of the Andaman Islands toward Myanmar's Arakan Coast. However, any change in track toward the north could rise the cyclone further toward Bangladesh. It should be noted that it is nearly 15 years to the date (April 29, 1991) that a cyclone devastated the Chittagong Region of Bangladesh.

Should the Cyclone move into the Arakan Coast, it could end up causing extensive flooding in the Irriwady Basin as well as severe flash flooding of coastal rivers of Rakine (Rohinga) State. The main city of Akyab (Sittwe) is also at risk.

All interests in Myanmar, Bangladesh and the Andaman Islands should closely monitor the status of this severe cyclone. Evacuation of low lying areas along the Arakan Coast may be needed in the next 24 hours.


No. BOB/1/2006/ 21
Dated 27th April 2006

Subject: Very Severe Cyclonic Storm over southeast and adjoining east-central Bay of Bengal

The Severe Cyclonic Storm “MALA” over southeast and adjoining east-central Bay of Bengal remained practically stationary and lay centered at 2030 hrs. IST near Lat.13.00 N and Long. 90.50 E, about 270 km northwest of Port Blair. The system is likely to intensify further and move slowly in a north-northeasterly direction.

The numerical models as well as synoptic patterns continue to suggest that the system may intensify further and track in a north-northeasterly direction towards Arakan coast with a possible landfall on 30th April.

Under its influence, scattered heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely over Andaman Islands during next 24 hours. Gale force winds reaching 100-120 kmph also likely over Andaman Islands during the same period.

State of the sea will be very high to phenomenal along and off Andaman coast. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the Sea during the same period.

Damage Expected :- Extensive damage to Kutcha houses. Minor damage to power and communication lines due to uprooting of large avenue trees.

Action Suggested :-Total suspension of fishing operations. Coastal hutment dwellers to be moved to safer places. People in affected areas to remain indoors.

APCEDI will continue to monitor the progress of Cyclone Mala as it moves toward the Arakan Coast.

While APCEDI does not normally monitor cyclones in the Bay of Bengal, given AFAP's tsunami relief effort and that of many agencies in the region, APCEDI will continue to bring reports from this region, as warranted, for the next year or longer if needed.

Kevin Vang
APCEDI Coordinator

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