Environment: Tropical Cyclone One forms in southern Bay of Bengal May 16. Adverse weather conditions likely through May 21.

Severity: Warning Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Bangladesh
  • Kolkata, West Bengal State
  • Colombo
  • Batticaloa
  • Kandy
  • Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  • Bhubaneshwar-Cuttack, Odisha State
  • Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh State
  • Trincomalee
  • Haldia, West Bengal State
  • Paradip, Odisha State
  • Ampara
  • Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh State
  • Sittwe
  • Kyaukphyu

This alert began 16 May 2020 11:15 GMT and is scheduled to expire 21 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Tropical Cyclone One
  • Affected Area(s): Sri Lanka, eastern India, Bangladesh, western Myanmar (map)
  • Period: Through at least May 21
  • Center of Circulation: Approximately 900 km (560 miles) southeast of Kakinada, India
  • Maximum Sustained Winds: 35 knots (65 kph, 40 mph)

Summary
Tropical Cyclone One formed in the southern Bay of Bengal May 16. The storm is currently classified as a Deep Depression and is forecast to track in a northern direction off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka and India and the western coast of Myanmar toward Bangladesh through May 21. The storm will strengthen considerably and is forecast to transition to a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm in the coming days. As of 1130 IST May 16, the system's center of circulation was located 900 km (560 miles) southeast of Kakinada, India. There remains uncertainty in the track and intensity forecast, and significant changes could occur in the coming days.

Government Advisories
Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a Pre-cyclone Watch for West Bengal and northern Odisha coastlines, May 16. Furthermore, the IMD has warned of heavy rainfall in coastal communities in the coming days. It has also warned of rough sea conditions and advised fishers against operating. Sri Lanka's Department of Meteorology has warned of heavy rainfall across the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Central, and Eastern provinces, May 16. It has indicated that rainfalls of 150 mm (6 inches) are possible in places. It has also warned of rough seas, strong winds, and landslides. Authorities could expand, upgrade, or rescind these advisories as the storm progresses.

Hazardous Conditions
The storm will continue to bring heavy rainfall, strong winds, and rough seas to coastal areas along the Bay of Bengal through May 21. Sustained heavy rainfall could trigger flooding in low-lying communities near streams, creeks, and rivers, as well as in urban areas with easily overwhelmed or a lack of stormwater drainage systems. Sites located downstream of large reservoirs could experience flash flooding after relatively short periods of intense rainfall. Rain-induced landslides are possible in steeply sloped terrains. Flooding could isolate some communities for several days. Coastal flooding may also occur during moderate storm surges. Persistent onshore flow could make it difficult for a surge to recede and for water levels to decrease in coastal river catchments.

In addition to the heavy rain, flooding, and storm surge, the system will produce damaging wind gusts, especially in areas close to the center of circulation. Widespread and prolonged power outages due to uprooted trees and toppled utility lines are likely.

Transport
Inclement weather associated with the storm could trigger localized business, transport, and utility disruptions. Impacts from the storm will further exacerbate transportation disruptions already occurring in areas under restrictions due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. Floodwaters and debris flows may render some bridges, rail networks, or roadways impassable, impacting overland travel in and around affected areas. Areal flooding in urban locations could also result in severe traffic congestion, while strong winds will pose a hazard to high-profile vehicles. Heavy rain and low visibility may trigger flight disruptions at regional airports. Hazardous sea conditions could prompt the temporary suspension of ferry services, maritime shipping, and port operations in areas near the storm's path.

Disruptions triggered by inclement weather and resultant hazards, such as flooding, could persist well after conditions have improved. If there is severe damage to infrastructure, repair, or reconstruction efforts may exacerbate residual disruptions.

Health
Stagnant pools of water during and after flooding increase the incidence of insect- and waterborne diseases, such as dengue fever, cholera, and malaria. The threat of these disease outbreaks is usually elevated in the low-income or underdeveloped areas of major urban centers due to the presence of incomplete or open sewer lines. The latent threat of waterborne contaminants from inundated industrial sites cannot be discounted; exposure to raw sewerage and other hazardous materials mixed with floodwaters poses a serious health threat.

Advice
Monitor local media for weather updates and related advisories. Prepare for the storm's arrival as early as possible; activate contingency plans if operating in areas where flooding and landslides are possible. Plan for potential delivery delays. Confirm all transport reservations before travel. Stockpile bottled water. Charge battery-powered devices when electricity is available; restrict the use of cellphones to emergencies only. Power down mobile devices when not in use. Keep important documents in waterproof containers. Observe strict food and water precautions. Take precautions against insect- and waterborne diseases in the coming weeks. Keep any necessary medications in a waterproof container.

Resources
Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC): www.metoc.navy.mil
Bangladesh Meteorological Department: http://live3.bmd.gov.bd
Department of Meteorology (Sri Lanka): www.meteo.gov.lk
Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (Myanmar): www.moezala.gov.mm
Indian Meteorological Department (IMD): https://mausam.imd.gov.in