Last Updated: November 17, 2023, 21:13 IST
Heavy rain battered Mizoram capital Aizawl and other parts of the state on Friday as the government sounded an alert with a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensifying into a cyclonic storm. Cyclone ‘Midhili’ will cross the Bangladesh coast on Friday night or in the early hours of November 18.
The cyclonic storm will be moving past the Sunderbans before making landfall on the Bangladesh coast with a maximum wind speed of 80 kmph, it said. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said ‘Midhili’ crossed Bangladesh coast near Khepupara between 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm. It lay centered at 5.30 pm over coastal Bangladesh. It said it is likely to move and weaken into a deep depression over Tripura and adjacent Bangladesh in the next six hours.
Mizoram shares a 318-km border with Bangladesh. The state is likely to experience heavy rainfall till Saturday. The IMD forecast 51 mm of rain between the mornings of November 17 and 18 in Aizawl district. There are forecasts of heavy rain also in districts such as Champhai (52 mm), Kolasib (58 mm), Lawngtlai (52 mm) and Mamit (56 mm).
Aizawl’s streets wore a deserted look as people stayed indoors and only a few vehicles were seen on roads. District administrations and disaster management authorities asked people to be alert and take precautionary measures.
The name ‘Midhili’ has been given by the Maldives. Countries affected by the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal cyclones rotationally give names of cyclones in a sequence.
Fishermen warned not to venture into sea
The MeT warned fishermen not to venture into the sea in north Bay of Bengal and along and off West Bengal coasts till November 18. While the IMD said the cyclone will have no major impact on Odisha as it passes above 150 km from the state’s coast but some districts like Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur are likely to get heavy rainfall on Friday, said IMD scientist Umashankar Das.
Odisha’s special relief commissioner (SRC) has put all the district collectors on alert in the wake of the cyclone in the Bay of Bengal. “We do not want to take any chance and, therefore, put the state machinery on alert for any eventuality,” SRC Satyabrata Sahoo said.
The cyclonic storm is likely to bring heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal and in the northeastern states, the MeT said. It is likely to bring isolated heavy downpour in West Bengal’s coastal districts of Purba Medinipur, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas on Friday, the weather office said.
It said the system is likely to bring very heavy rainfall in the northeastern states of Mizoram and Tripura on Friday and in Nagaland, Manipur, south Assam and east Meghalaya till Saturday. This is the second deep depression this season. The previous cyclone ‘Hamoon’ also headed towards the Bangladesh coast.