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Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm “Mocha” forecast to make landfall close to Sittwe, Myanmar

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Mocha is expected to cross the coast of southeast Bangladesh and north Myanmar on May 14, 2023, as a very dangerous extremely severe cyclonic storm. This is the first named storm of the 2023 North Indian Ocean cyclone season.

At 10:00 UTC on May 13, the center of Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm “Mocha” (pronounced as “Mokha”) was located about 590 km (366 miles) NNW of Port Blair, India, 580 km (360 miles) SSW of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh and 490 km (305 miles) SSW of Sittwe, Myanmar.

The system was moving NE at a speed of 19 km/h (12 mph), according to the RSMC New Delhi. Its minimum barometric pressure was 950 hPa.

The cyclone is expected to move NNE and cross southeast Bangladesh and north Myanmar coasts close to Sittwe, Myanmar (between Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh and Kyaukpyu, Myanmar) around 06:00 UTC (12:00 LT) on May 14, 2023, as an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 170 – 180 km/h (105 – 112 mph) and gusts to 200 km/h (125 mph).

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Image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS. Acquired on May 13, 2023
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Immediately after landfall, Mocha will rapidly weaken as it gets torn apart by high shear and terrain interaction, fully dissipating by 09:00 UTC on May 15 over far northern Myanmar.

More than 500 000 people living on the coast of Bangladesh and Myanmar have been ordered to evacuate.

The World Meteorological Organization warned of a humanitarian crisis as the cyclone is forecast to make landfall near the world’s largest refugee camp in the town of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, bringing storm surge, flooding rainfall and damaging winds.

Evacuations are also taking place in Myanmar where authorities warned of possible flash floods and landslides and urged residents to stock up on essential supplies.

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Tropical Cyclone “Mocha” at 10:20 UTC on May 13, 2023. Credit: KMA/GEO-KOMPSAT, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers
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Tropical Cyclone “Mocha” at 10:20 UTC on May 13, 2023. Credit: KMA/GEO-KOMPSAT, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

Featured image credit: Tropical Cyclone “Mocha” at 10:20 UTC on May 13, 2023. Credit: KMA/GEO-KOMPSAT, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

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