Tropical Storm Mahasen strikes southern Bangladesh: 12 dead, 1 million displaced

May 16, 2013 BANGLADESH A tropical storm has lashed coastal areas of Bangladesh, killing 12 people, destroying thousands of huts and forcing up to a million people to flee. Officials had prepared for a cyclone, but the storm, called Mahasen, weakened considerably before making landfall. The storm hit Patuakhali district on Thursday with heavy rain and wind of up to 100km/h (60mph). Early reports suggest Muslim Rohingya living in camps on both sides of the Burma border were spared the worst. The United Nations had warned that 8.2 million people were at risk from Mahasen in Bangladesh, Burma and north-east India. Several Indian states issued storm alerts and warned people to take precautions against severe weather conditions. The storm weakened over the Bay of Bengal, however, and forecasters say it is likely to dissipate within 24 hours. The Bangladeshi government said it had evacuated 956,672 people from coastal areas to more than 3,200 cyclone shelters. Officials broadcast warning messages before Mahasen hit. Airports in Chittagong and the resort town of Cox’s Bazar were closed, and Chittagong’s port also remains closed, says the BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder in Chittagong. The Bangladeshi authorities earlier raised the danger level to seven out of 10 for low-lying areas around Chittagong. The cyclone covered more than 175km in nine hours before hitting the coast, Bangladesh’s Meteorological Department said. A storm surge destroyed thousands of huts and caused flooding in coastal areas. All schools, colleges and some hotels have been declared cyclone shelters, and most were packed overnight. In Burma, there were fears for tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims living in camps in low-lying areas of Rakhine state. They were displaced by ethnic violence last year and many were reluctant to move from the camps. One refugee, Hla Maung, said he had lost his mother and two young daughters during the clashes between Muslims and Buddhists last year, and would not move from the camp. “I lost everything. I don’t want to go anywhere. I’ll stay here. If I die, I want to die here,” he said. Burmese Planning Minister Tin Naing Thein said that in all, more than 166,000 people had been relocated. In the event, the storm changed course and appears to have caused only minor damage in Burma. Cyclone Mahasen earlier hit Sri Lanka, causing floods and mudslides that killed at least seven people, according to the country’s Disaster Management Centre. At least 50 Rohingya Muslims drowned on Tuesday when boats evacuating them from the path of the cyclone capsized off western Burma. –BBC
Tornadoes rip through Texas: At least six people were killed and seven were missing after as many as 10 tornadoes ripped through north-central Texas Wednesday evening, leaving a trail of destruction from the worst severe storm outbreak in the United States so far this year. Authorities warned the death toll could rise from the storms, which struck from early evening to around dusk, flattening homes and uprooting trees across at least four counties near the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The hardest hit area was around Granbury, a town of 8,000 people about 35 miles southwest of Dallas-Fort Worth. In Hood County, where Granbury is located, spokesman Tye Bell said seven people were still missing and at least 45 injured, most from a single subdivision of homes in the town. “The main concern is life safety and finding any victims that still need our help,” Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said at a press conference on Thursday. All six of the people confirmed killed were found in Rancho Brazos, a neighborhood of around 110 mostly single family homes on the fringe of Granbury that bore the brunt of the winds, Deeds said. Video of the area showed homes flattened, power lines down and roads blocked by debris in the area. Bulldozers were clearing roads so people could be moved out of their houses. Until Wednesday, the tornado season had been unusually mild so far in 2013 after two years of intense activity. The tornado season in the United States typically starts in the Gulf Coast states in the late winter, and then moves north with the warming weather, peaking around May and trailing off by July. –WHTC
This entry was posted in Civilizations unraveling, Climate unraveling, Cloudburst storms with flashflooding, Cyclone or Hurricane, Deluge from torrential rains, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Extreme Weather Event, Gale-force winds and gusts, High-risk potential hazard zone, Strange high tides & freak waves, Time - Event Acceleration, Tornado Outbreak, Unprecedented Flooding. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Tropical Storm Mahasen strikes southern Bangladesh: 12 dead, 1 million displaced

  1. Scott says:

    I’m an hour away from this, the local weather did not have this in the forecast at all. Granbury is a little bed and breakfast type town. People did not get a warning other than the tornado sirens. Activity was all over the Metroplex, tornado circulation was everywhere.


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