A circular is doing rounds on Whatsapp, dated 31 May 2017, stating that it’s a cyclone alert and all the tahsildars are informed that Cyclone Mora is over North East Bay of Bengal. The circular states that Mora will make landfall over Bangladesh, causing moderate to heavy rainfall in Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram from 7-10 June.
The circular is being shared on social media, linking the rainfall today to Cyclone Mora. The same is causing many to misunderstand and panic that Mora might hit Visakhapatnam. A representative at the Cyclone Warning Centre, Visakhapatnam, has however said, “The rainfall we see now is not due to Cyclone Mora. These are just pre-monsoon showers that we see. Visakhapatnam has no cyclone or any related warnings as of now.”
Atleast six people were killed when Cyclone Mora made landfall in Bangaldesh on May 30, 2017. The winds that whipped at 150 kmph left several houses damaged and the authorities had to evacuate half a million people from Bangladesh’s coastal regions. People were moved to 400 shelters, schools and government offices. Cyclone Roanu hit Bangladesh last year killing 20 and forcing many to flee. Significant damage was reported from refugee camps housing Rohingya Muslims from neighbouring Mayanmar. 20,000 houses in refugee camps for Rohingya were left damaged.
The Indian Navy went on to rescue 33 survivors and a body from the seas off Bangladesh after the cyclone dissipated on May 31, 2017. The INS Sumitra found even women and children floating 160 KMs off the coast of Chittagong. The rescued people received medical treatment. INS Sumitra reached Chittagong on June 1, 2017 along with the 33 survivors and relief materials of packed food, tents, clothes and primary medical equipment. The amount of damage the cyclone caused reportedly could’ve been higher if not for the proper management of the government.
Cyclone Mora formed after heavy rainfall in Sri Lanka, causing floods and landslides, killing 180 people. The cyclone has destroyed innumerable lives in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Northeast India, Myanmar, Bhutan and Tibet. The United Nations has called urgent aid to assist the people affected. Shelter materials, food, drinking water and latrines are the need of the hour. The International Organisation for Migration has appealed for $3.7 million to help the Rohingya community.