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Cyclone Amphan: Crossed the coast and now saturating India and Bangladesh

The Thaiger

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Cyclone Amphan: Crossed the coast and now saturating India and Bangladesh | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Indian Express
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Cyclone Amphan made reached the coastline late yesterday afternoon near the Indian town of Digha, on India’s eastern coast, near the border with Bangladesh. As the storm marched up the Bay of Bengal since the weekend, strengthening, thousands of people were evacuated as a precaution for the major storm system. Millions of other have taken shelter or made their way to government buildings specially prepared.

Al Jazeera were reporting the death toll of 14 people so far as of 7am this morning. 2 of the deaths are thought to be children.

Amphan was measured as a Category 2 storm as it set to cross over the coast with sustained winds of above 160 kph. The storm has been pounding Kolkata, one of India’s biggest cities, which sits on the low-lying coastal delta. Heavy rains and a storm surge are flooding low-lying areas.

But early reports say that the storm’s damage appears to be much less than initially feared. An aid agency based in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, home to 60,000 Bangladeshis plus up to a million Rohingya refugees, marooned in rain-soaked camps, say that the rain has been extremely heavy.

But, at this stage, it appears that the ambitious evacuation efforts and the weakening of the cyclone as the system reached the coast has spared many lives. More will become clear this morning as authorities can properly assess damage and collate reports from outlying areas.

Amphan washed away bridges connecting small Indian islands to the mainland and has stranded areas without power or communications.

At the start of this week regional meteorologists were describing the cyclone as one of the most dangerous storms in decades. The cyclone also arrives as both India and Bangladesh are in the middle of Covid-19 outbreaks and lockdowns. India currently has 112,000+ reported cases and Bangladesh nearly 27,000.

The death toll is expected to rise.

Cyclone Amphan: Crossed the coast and now saturating India and Bangladesh | News by The Thaiger

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Weather

Rains, thundershowers predicted to blanket all regions

Jack Burton

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Rains, thundershowers predicted to blanket all regions | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

The Thailand Meteorological Department said today that the high pressure system from China covering Laos and Vietnam is causing the monsoon trough to move across the upper North and Northeast, while a moderate southwest monsoon prevails over the Andaman Sea.

More rains are forecast for upper Thailand, with gusty winds and hail in the North and isolated heavy rains in all regions. People should beware of the severe conditions. The weather forecast for the next 24 hours is as follows:

Northern region: Thundershowers in 60% of the areas with gusty winds, hail and isolated heavy rains in some areas; lows of 24-27℃ and highs of 36-39℃.

Northeastern region: Thundershowers in 70% of the areas and isolated heavy rains; lows of 22-26℃ and highs of 29-37℃.

Central region: Thundershowers in 60% of the areas and isolated heavy rains; lows of 25-26℃, highs of 38-39℃.

Eastern region: Thundershowers in 60% of the areas and isolated heavy rains; lows of 25-27℃, highs of 33-38℃; waves a metre high, 1-2 metres during thundershowers.

Southern region (east coast): Mostly cloudy with thundershowers in 40% of the areas and isolated heavy rains; lows of 24-26℃, highs of 33-37℃; waves a metre high and 2 metres during thundershowers.

Southern region (west coast): Thundershowers in 60% of the areas and isolated heavy rains; lows of 24-26℃, highs of 32-35; waves 1-2 metres high and 2 metres during thundershowers.

Bangkok and surrounding areas: Thundershowers in 60% of the areas; lows of 26-28 degrees, highs of 35-39℃.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand’s monsoon and wet season explained

The Thaiger

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Thailand’s monsoon and wet season explained | The Thaiger

Unlike much of the rest of the world, north and south of the equatorial regions with the four reliable seasons of winter, spring, summer and autumn, Thailand has just three seasons: hot, not-quite-so-hot and wet.

The rainy season is caused by the southwest monsoon that sweeps out of the Indian Ocean with moist air heading in a north-easterly direction across Thailand, sucked into the void left by rising warm air over the summer Asian continent. The monsoon also coincides with Thailand’s location in the Southeast Asian tropical rain belt – the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone.

The timing of the season isn’t the same around the country and isn’t the same every year although it is reasonably reliable. Chiang Mai does not have the same rainy season as the Gulf of Thailand islands. Koh Samui’s wet season is month’s after the islands on the other side of the peninsula.

The annual celebration of Songkran, the Thai New Year – April 13 – is usually timed to match the end of the hot season and the start of the annual wet season. But in most provinces the start of the monsoon is usually a month or so later.

Some places can be much wetter than others. Ranong, in the south of Thailand, just north of Phuket facing the Andaman Sea, is the wettest province in the country with a rainy season stretching from April to November. But the seaside resort of Hua Hin on the Gulf of Thailand only really has two particularly rainy months, September and October.

The strength and intensity of the rains vary greatly. But, generally, monsoon rains tend to be short, intense bursts of rainfall. They could last for a few hours in the middle of the day, but they could just as easily be over within about 15 minutes in the morning or evening.

The monsoons do little to stop the locals who plunge on despite the deluge and occasional floods. Help is never too far away with the 20 baht ‘poncho’ available at every 7 Eleven and Food Mart. Flimsy and available in a variety of non-fashion colours, they’ll keep at least some of your body dry if you’re caught out in a downpour.

It floods very easily in Thailand, such is the intensity and suddenness of the monsoonal rains. Bangkokians will just roll up their trousers, or hold onto their skirts, take their shoes off and wade through the floodwater – it’s just part of life when living in Thailand.

And the best thing is that the wet season rains are never icy cold and usually provide a nice respite from the heat. There’s also a drama and beauty of the Thai monsoons. Enjoy and celebrate the annual rains that provide water for the crops and fill up the dams.

Thailand's monsoon and wet season explained | News by The Thaiger

Bangkok and Central provinces

The Thai capital generally can time the rainy season from late June or early July, peaking in September and starting to dry out in September and October.

The rains could start as out-of nowhere storms and often some notable overnight dumps, before increasing to more regular almost daily rains in July and August. It won’t necessarily rain every day and very rarely all day. But sometimes it’s torrential. Bangkok, whilst built to cope with the heavy rains has closed off a lot of the canals and the natural means of escape has been blocked off over the years.

Thailand's monsoon and wet season explained | News by The Thaiger

Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand

Chiang Mai is the north capital, mostly flat and surrounded by hills. and attracts plenty of tourists and travellers year-round, regardless of weather. Chiang Mai is also the jump off point for visits to Pai, Mae Hong Son, Lampang and Chiang Rai.

The monsoon season lasts longer in the North. compared to Bangkok. It usually starts around May and continues until November. July and August are particularly wet.

Whilst tourism plunges on, regardless of the rains, there will be occasional disruptions to some of the outdoor activities during the peaks of the northern wet season. The northern parts of Thailand do have distinctly cooler weather during the dry season – December until the end of February – even a morning frost in the mountains around the region.

Thailand's monsoon and wet season explained | News by The Thaiger

North East Thailand

The Northeast provinces (known as Isaan) is further away from the Indian Ocean so the monsoon has lost some of its power by the time it reaches the region. The wet season would stretch from May to October but 80% of the rain usually falls in August and September.

The region’s north and eastern borders are the mighty Mekong River which relies on a decent annual fall of rains. In recent years the Mekong has recorded lower levels due to the changes in wet season rains and damming upstream in Laos and China.

East Thailand

Koh Chang and the other islands off the coast of Trat province are beautiful and mostly unspoiled by mass tourism but can be very wet during the monsoon which usually runs from late May to the end of October. In June, July and August it’s likely to rain at some stage just about every day.

The moist air has been sucked in from the Indian Ocean, crossed over the thin peninsula of southern Thailand and then rebuilt strength as it passes over the Gulf of Thailand.

Storms and choppy offshore waters means that diving and snorkelling may be limited. But the islands will be much quieter and prices lower during the wet season.

Phuket, Krabi and the Andaman Coast

Glorious beaches, tropical living and beautiful islands. Once upon a time this region had a distinct high and low tourist season but the changes in international tourist mixes have made many of the Andaman Sea destinations busy throughout the year, rain or no rain. Phuket, Krabi, Koh Lanta, Khao Lak, Koh Phi Phi are just a few of the popular destinations in this picture-postcard region.

It will usually start raining from mid April to October and November. September and October are the wettest. And when it rains, it pours. The strong south westerly winds usually make the west-facing beaches unswayable for the duration of the monsoon – many tourists drown off these coastlines each year.

Some of the smaller islands and diving spots shut down during the monsoon.

Thailand's monsoon and wet season explained | News by The Thaiger

Koh Samui and the Gulf Islands

Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand are a triad of popular islands off the coast of Surat Thani in the Gulf of Thailand and have their own annual season weather patterns.

The monsoon season doesn’t hit Koh Samui until later in the year, with the rains arriving during October to December with peaks in November and trailing off during the start of the new year. But, like the Andaman Coast destinations, it remains hot and mostly humid throughout the year.

Thailand's monsoon and wet season explained | News by The Thaiger

Things to do in Phuket during the wet season.

And it does get humid. Here’s what you can do to cope with Thailand’s humidity.

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Cyclone Amphan’s death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh – VIDEO

Anukul

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Cyclone Amphan’s death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: aljazeera.com

Today the clean up starts in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan after it reached the coastline Wednesday evening and started heading inland. In parts of Bangladesh and West Bengal (eastern India boarding Bangladesh), at least 83 people have died. It’s affected some 10 million Indian and Bangladeshi people, leaving countless homeless.

With winds around 170 kilometre per hour, most of the deceased were killed by falling trees, electrocuted by downed power poles or trapped within collapsed buildings, leaving a trail of destruction and grief.

Cyclone Amphan's death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, told local media in a press conference that, “she had never seen such a disaster before and the impact of Amphan cyclone is worse than the coronavirus.”

On Tuesday and Wednesday, as the storm barrelled up the Bay of Bengal, emergency crews headed to populated beach areas, trying to convince locals to leave their homes and evacuate to the shelters. Read more HERE

Around 3 million people in India and Bangladesh followed the calls and moved to safety. However, Indian police officers say that some villagers resisted going to shelters as they feared becoming stuck in a closed space with thousands of others at a time the coronavirus.

Yesterday, after the cyclone had weakened as it moved inland towards the northeastern parts of India, with wind speeds of 60 kilometre per hour. Many villagers who had fled to the cyclone shelters began heading back to their villages, only to find their homes completely wrecked.

Among the reported deaths, the authorities revealed that 10 people had died in Bangladesh, and at least 73 in India, 15 in Kolkata alone.

Cyclone Amphan's death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Ms. Banerjee, the West Bengal minister, says that the region was in a “warlike” situation and that the loss of lives could surpass the toll of Covid-19. The authorities there reported that “Bangladesh seemed to do better at getting people into emergency shelters, evacuating a total of 2.4 million people. Whereas in India, officials estimated that only around 660,000 had been evacuated.”

“Even the local news was focused more on coronavirus than the cyclone, when the government finally started evacuating people and people realised the intensity of the storm, it was too late.”

Cyclone Amphan's death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Today Indian PM Narendra Modi left New Delhi to conduct an aerial survey of the worst hit areas of West Bengal and Odisha states.

Through an initial assessment, officials in Bangladesh say the cyclone caused damage to infrastructure, homes, fisheries, livestock, water supplies and agriculture to about US$130 million (more than 4 billion baht). The full extent of the damage is not yet full apparent and the death toll is expected to rise.

The PM says that “no stone will be left unturned in helping the affected.”

SOURCE: Ny Times | Aljaeera | Times of India | Hosted

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