Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Thai depression turns into storm, may head for Burma

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A tropical depression over the Andaman Sea that drenched southern Thailand has become a storm that might move into Burma, so conditions should be monitored carefully in the next 48 hours, according to former weather bureau chief Dr. Tun Lwin.

another-cyclone“The storm came from the Gulf of Thailand in that country’s far south and passed [across] Thailand and the Malaysian Peninsula. It is moving to the southern Andaman Sea and it may not blow over [Burma],” he said.

“We have to monitor it to see whether it will move towards the northwest in the next 48 hours. Currently [5:30 p.m. Burma time], it is showing signs of a westward shift. If so, the storm can’t hit Burma. Otherwise, if it moves towards the northwest, I can’t say whether it would hit Burma or not as we need time for forecasting … It may also change direction.”

Heavy rains from storm’s previous incarnation as a tropical depression drenched the main rubber-growing region in southern Thailand today, flooding commercial hub Hat Yai, as 12,000 people were evacuated from the border regions with Malaysia, Reuters news agency reported.

The downpours in the far south of Thailand followed the worst flooding in decades in the northeast and centre of the world’s biggest rubber exporter, covering a third of the country since early last month.

The India Metrological Department issued the following heavy rainfall and shipping warning for the Andaman Sea and southeast Bay of Bengal for the period discussed by Tun Lwin.

“Heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur at a few places over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands during the next 48 hours. Strong winds at speeds reaching 35-45 miles per hour likely for the Andaman Sea and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal. Fishermen are advised to be cautious while venturing out to sea,” the bureau said.

The storm emerges 10 days after Cyclone Giri, the Category Four tropical storm that wreaked havoc along Burma’s western coastal state of Arakan, with winds of at least 160 kilometres per hour. Food and water shortages, power cuts and severed phone lines have plagued tens of thousands of homes and businesses in its wake, Mizzima reported. At least 70,000 people have been displaced, especially in low-lying villages such as those of Myebon Township.


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