Cyclone Mocha, located over east central Bay and adjoining areas, kept moving north-northeastwards and kept intensifying between the Bangladesh Meteorological Department or BMD’s evening and midnight updates on Saturday.
The weather system was located at 490 km south-southwest of Chattogram port, 410 km south-southwest of Cox's Bazar port, 530 km south of Mongla port and 460 km south of Payra port, said the BMD in its special update issued at 12am Saturday night (0000 hrs Sunday).
In BMD’s previous update at 6pm Saturday, the storm was located 605 km south-southwest of Chattogram port, 525 km south-southwest of Cox's Bazar port, 625 km south of Mongla port and 565 km south of Payra port.
It is likely to intensify further, keep moving in a north-northeasterly direction and likely cross the Cox's Bazar-north Myanmar coast anytime between 9am to 3pm on Sunday, May 14 (tomorrow) it said. In this case, BMD’s midnight update did shorten the window for it to make landfall, as earlier it had said 9am-6p Sunday in the evening update.
It also said the coastal districts of Chattogram and Barishal divisions had started experiencing the peripheral effects of the very severe cyclonic storm in the form of rain.
BMD said the maximum sustained wind speed near the storm's centre was about 190 kph rising to 210 kph in gusts/squalls. This was up from 180-200 kph in the evening update, meaning the storm was still gathering strength.
There were some rumours that the system had already turned into a ‘super cyclone’, but an Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) update pointed out that the system is called a super cyclone when the maximum sustained speed crosses 221 km per hour - which is not yet the case, although it may still happen overnight.
An IMD official told Kolkata-based The Telegraph that “whether it technically crosses the super cyclone threshold or not, the devastation will be significant.”
BMD in its update said the coastal districts of Cox's Bazar and Chittagong and the nearby islands and low-lying Char areas face tidal surges 8 to 12 feet above the normal tide.
Maritime ports of Cox's Bazar has been advised to keep hoisted great danger signal no. 10. Maritime ports of Chattogram and Payra have been advised to keep hoisted great danger signal no. 8, said the report.
The low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Feni, Noakhali. Laxmipur, Chandpur. Bhola and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by the wind driven tidal surges 05-07 feet above normal astronomical tide.
Maritime port of Mongla has been advised to keep hoisted local warning signal no 4. The coastal district of Cox's Bazar and its offshore islands and chars will come under great danger signal 10, it also said.
Chattogram, Sylhet and Barishal divisions are likely to experience heavy (44-88 mm) to very heavy rainfall (89 mm and above). Due to the very heavy rainfall, landslides may occur at places over the hilly regions of Cox's Bazar, Bandarban, Rangamati, Khagrachari and Chattogram.
All fishing boats and trawlers over north bay have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice, the bulletin also said.