Planned infrastructure reduces cyclone casualties in Bangladesh
Tens of thousands of residents returned to inundated villages after the government evacuated them during the onset of Cylone Roanu. The country has built thousands of raised concrete buildings to serve as cyclone shelters across the vast region. Over 2 million people were evacuated in 24 hours to avoid the loss of lives during the storm. However, Cyclone Roanu's death toll climbed to 26.
Roanu–the first tropical cyclone of the season, triggered torrential rains that caused deadly floods and mudslides in Sri Lanka. At least 18 were killed, 200 families were reported missing, and the cyclone displaced 1,30,000 households in the country. Heavy rains in Kerala and Tamil Nadu in India were also reported; Roanu was expected to shift its course to India by 17 May'16.
With the Dec'15 flood memories still fresh, several areas in Tamil Nadu including Chennai received intense rains on 17-18 May'16 triggered by a depression in the Bay of Bengal. Authorities had deployed teams and set up an emergency-helpline to render help. Rainfall of 25 cm was expected in Tamil Nadu; the cyclone was expected relieve Tamil Nadu and move towards Andhra in a day.
Andhra Pradesh and Odisha were put on high-alert following the transformation of the deep depression in the Bay of Bengal into a cyclonic storm today. The cyclonic storm–'Roanu' caused heavy rains coupled with high-velocity winds in both the states. Indian Meteorological Department warned that several places along the coastal lines of the two states might experience heavy-to-very heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours.
In 24 hours, Kakinada in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh witnessed a record-breaking rainfall of 17.4 centimeters, the highest in 10 years; while Bapatla in Guntur district recorded a rainfall of 13.4 centimeters.
An IMD bulletin warned that there would be extensive damage to power and communication lines, thatched huts, roads, low-lying areas over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Fishermen were cautioned not to go fishing in both the states. At least 15 fishermen, who had ventured into the sea in AP's Guntur on Tuesday, were missing after the deep depression turned the sea violent.
The RSMC report also stated that it was likely the system would turn into a severe cyclonic storm and continue moving in the northeast direction. It was expected to cross between Bangladesh's Khepupara and Cox's Bazar on 21 May'16.
23 people were killed and more that 500,000 people were forced to flee as cyclone Roanu battered the southern coast of Bangladesh. Several houses and low lying villages were inundated in the mudslides and storm surges that were triggered by the storm. The Chittagong district was the worst affected, and the government evacuated thousands of locals to nearby cyclone shelters.