"Bijli" near Orissa coast... taken by NASA's Earth Observatory project.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
At last cyclone bijli has made landfall over Bangladesh at around "10 PM" India time near "Chittagong sea port".
Here's the final tracking from JTWC (issued just before making landfall) and some news reports.
POSITION NEAR 22.2N 92.5E.
TROPICAL CYCLONE (TC) 01B (BIJLI) LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 30 NM SOUTH
OF CHITTAGONG, BANGLADESH HAS TRACKED EAST-NORTHEASTWARD AT 14 KNOTS
OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS. TC 01B IS JUST OFF THE COAST OF BANGLADESH
AT 18Z, AND IS EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL NEAR 1930Z. TC 01B WILL
CONTINUE TO TRACK EAST TO EAST-NORTHEASTWARD OVER THE NEXT 12 HOURS.
THE SYSTEM WILL WEAKEN SIGNIFICANTLY AS IT TRACKS FURTHER INLAND,
ENCOUNTERING INCREASINGLY MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN AS IT TRACKS ACROSS
BANGLADESH, EASTERN INDIA AND INTO MYANMAR, CAUSING TC 01B TO WEAKEN
SIGNIFICANTLY TO BELOW WARNING CRITERIA OF 35 KNOTS. THIS IS THE
FINAL WARNING ON THIS SYSTEM BY THE JOINT TYPHOON WARNING CENTER
(NAVMARFCSTCEN). THE SYSTEM WILL BE CLOSELY MONITORED FOR SIGNS OF
REGENERATION. MAXIMUM SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT AT 171800Z IS 18 FEET
Here's the satellite pic just before impact.
Cyclone Bijli hits Bangladesh coast from Earthtimes.org
Dhaka - Cyclone
Bijli hit the Bangladeshi coast late Friday night, but the tropical storm had weaken slightly before reaching the south eastern shoreline, officials said. A Bangladesh meteorological department statement said that the cyclone - with a wind speed
of 90 kilometres per hour - would take five to six hours to cross the coast.
It was likely to continue gradually weakening, it added.
Several thousand inhabitants of islands in the Bay of Bengal were already evacuated earlier Friday, ahead of the storm.
No initial reports of casualties were reported from the coastal districts, apart from destruction of a few thatched houses and damaged crops in the path of the cyclone.
The government earlier suspended all works at Bangladesh's major Chittagong sea port, and Shah Amanat International Airport
, the second largest airport of the country, as a precaution for the storm.
"We observe the cyclone was getting weaker gradually , and there is nothing to be panicked at this moment," Bangladesh's Food and Disaster Management Affairs Minister Abdur Razzak said after reviewing the situation at a meeting on disaster preparedness.
He added that the maritime ports must maintain the defensive stance adopted earlier to avoid loss of life and property.
Earlier on Friday, the authorities evacuated several thousand residents of islands in the Bay of Bengal as the moderate-intensity cyclone was forecast to hit the Bangladeshi coast early Saturday.
"People from low-lying islands were brought to cyclone shelter centres Friday, and we have prepared to evacuate other costal residents to safer places if required," said MS Akbar, chairman of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society.
More than 12,000 volunteers were engaged in cyclone preparedness work.
Heavy rainfall was recorded Friday in coastal districts, and the low-lying coastal areas of Chittagong, Noakhali, Feni, Laxmipur, Bhola, Barisal and Chandpur and their offshore islands were warned to expect water surge of 2 to 3 meters above normal tide.
Fishing boats and trawlers in the northern Bay of Bengal were ordered to take shelter, and the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority suspended river transport service.
Thousands of volunteers have been asking coastal residents to go to safer places, especially to cyclone shelter centres constructed after the devastation of the November 2007 Supercyclone Sidr, which killed more than 4,000 people.