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Indian state estimates $1.4 billion damage from Cyclone

Cyclone Warning Alert

Cyclone Tauktae caused an estimated 100 billion Indian rupees ($1.4 billion) worth of damage in the Indian state of Gujarat after making landfall on May 17, Times of India reported. Agriculture, energy and housing sectors have recorded the highest losses. The cyclone affected states along the west coast of India.

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India lashed by strongest cyclone to ever hit west coast as it reels from Covid disaster

Cyclone Warning Alert

India was slammed on Monday by the strongest storm on record to reach its west coast, hampering authorities’ response to the Covid-19 crisis in some of the country’s hardest hit regions.

Tropical Cyclone Tauktae, a storm with wind speeds equivalent to a high-end Category 3 hurricane that formed in the Arabian Sea, made landfall Monday night local time in Gujarat. It strengthened slightly as it hit the western state with maximum sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour (125 mph), according to the United States’ Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

By Tuesday morning, it had weakened from an “extremely severe cyclonic storm” to a “severe cyclonic storm,” according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

Photos and videos show highways turned into rivers by the heavy rain, and trees and power lines toppled by ferocious winds. The cyclone has killed at least 26 people across the coastal states of Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, according to state authorities.

The deaths were due to drowning at sea, house collapses, lightning strikes and other accidents linked to the severe weather, according to states’ disaster management authorities.

This comes as India reels from its second wave of coronavirus, which has infected millions and killed tens of thousands since it began in mid-March. Though daily case figures began declining over the past week, Covid-related deaths continue to break record highs and the crisis is far from over — especially in rural areas with fewer resources and medical supplies.

Covid patients were among the hundreds of thousands evacuated from low-lying areas this week as the region braced for the cyclone’s arrival. In Mumbai, 580 patients from makeshift care centers were moved to various hospitals on Friday and Saturday, according to the city’s municipal corporation.

It’s not the first time India has dealt with natural disasters during the pandemic — last year, the country faced cyclones in late May and early June that also prompted mass evacuations.

Back then, however, India’s cases were still relatively low, at fewer than 10,000 a day, and the country was emerging from a stringent lockdown.

This time, India is the global epicenter of the pandemic. Its health care system has collapsed and patients are still dying from shortages of oxygen and other supplies. The government is more fragile and under greater scrutiny than before, as it struggles to contain the outbreak while facing heavy criticism both at home and overseas.

And the cyclone could be just the harbinger of more disaster to come, as India’s months-long monsoon season approaches.

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Cyclone Seroja destroys homes, cuts power to 31,500 on Australia’s west coast

Cyclone Warning Alert

A tropical cyclone on Australia’s west coast destroyed several homes and cut electricity to tens of thousands of people overnight before weakening on Monday morning.

Officials said around 70% of the structures in the coastal town of Kalbarri, about 500 kilometres (310 miles) north of state capital Perth, had sustained damage when the category three storm made landfall late on Sunday.

“The devastation caused by Cyclone Seroja is widespread and severe,” Western Australia state premier Mark McGowan told reporters.

Around 40% of the damage was “major”, WA Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said.

No deaths or major injuries have been reported.

A recovery effort is now underway as the biggest threat has passed, McGowan said. There are 31,500 customers still without power supply, which he said could take days to restore.

Tropical cyclone Seroja was downgraded after making landfall to a category two system and was later downgraded further to a tropical low, but bringing heavy rain and strong winds.

Photos on social media and local broadcasts showed downed powerlines, debris and houses stripped of roofs and walls. Western Australia state authorities opened three evacuation centres for displaced residents.

The region was on high alert for the storm, given that houses and other buildings were not built to withstand tropical cyclones, which usually do not push so far south.

“This is a rare weather event for people in southern and eastern parts of WA,” the Bureau of Meteorology said.

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Death toll of Cyclone Seroja rises to 179 in Indonesia

The death toll of Cyclone Seroja in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province rose to 179 and 45 others are still missing, an official said on Monday.

“We have been able to reach all the affected areas and there are no more isolated villages,” East Nusa Tenggara’s Deputy Governor Josef Nae Soi told a virtual press conference with the National Disaster Management Agency.

Soi said several broken bridges have not yet been rebuilt, hampering economic activities.

He said temporary solutions including using army ships and state-owned ferries have been suggested.

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Rare clash of cyclones to bring wild conditions to Western Australia

A rare clash of cyclones off the coast of Western Australia is expected to bring wild weather to much of the state’s coast – and has excited weather enthusiasts across the globe.

Tropical cyclone Seroja, which tore through Timor-Leste last weekend, was on a collision course with tropical cyclone Odette, with the resultant interaction known as the Fujiwhara effect.

The phenomenon, named after the Japanese meteorologist Sakuhei Fujiwhara, describes what happens when two tropical systems rotate around each other, making it difficult to forecast the intensity and path of storms.

Prof Kevin Walsh, a lecturer in meteorology at the University of Melbourne, said the Fujiwhara effect meant there was a range of permutations for the storms.

“Depending on how close they get to each other, one can absorb the other or they could do a twist, a twirl around the ballroom, and go in different directions,” Walsh said on Friday.

“Typically with the Fujiwhara effect, it’s the bigger storm that absorbs the smaller one, if they get close enough. These two may not get close enough for that to happen. The main real-world impact is that it makes the forecast of the tracks a lot more difficult to predict accurately because of the unpredictability of the Fujiwhara effect.”

Walsh said that, while relatively rare, the phenomenon was seen in locations that routinely face cyclones.

“It doesn’t happen very often but it has been observed a few times, particularly in locations that get a lot of tropical cyclones, such as the north-west Pacific. It has not been seen recently in Australia, but it has been seen before.”

The Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement that cyclone Odette had already “influenced” Seroja, causing it to take a more southerly track.

The bureau’s Rob Lawry, of the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre, said the collision was just a “matter of luck” and he expected cyclone Odette to weaken.

“We’re expecting it to stay a cyclone for the next 12-24 hours before it weakens off back to a tropical low.”

Lawry said Odette was essentially being flicked out by cyclone Seroja.

“It’s slingshotting around cyclone Seroja, rather than head to the coast, it’s going to spin around Seroja and end up parallel to the north-west of the Pilbara,” he said. “It almost looks like two bullseyes dancing around each other. These are big weather systems … they’re impressive to watch on satellite imagery.”

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Cyclone Burevi: Kerala issues alert, Health Minister Shailaja asks hospitals to be prepared

Cyclone Warning Alert

The Kerala health department has issued an alert in view of Cyclone Burevi to ensure the successful handling of health issues that might arise due to the storm and rain and possible infectious diseases post-disaster.

Health minister KK Shailaja directed the Director of Health Services and Director of Medical Education to ensure adequate medical infrastructure and medicines at all hospitals in the state.

“All major health institutions including medical colleges should make adequate preparations to handle any kind of emergencies. Orthopedicians, physicians, paediatricians, surgeons, anaesthesia doctors and others should be available on call duty,” said Shailaja.

The department has also directed the nodal officers of respective districts to follow the instructions of the respective district medical officers. It has also been directed to ensure the security of senior citizens and ensure Covid protocol at relief camps. The service of 108 Kanivu ambulance network has also been ensured at areas which might bear the brunt of the cyclone.

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Somalia’s Strongest Tropical Cyclone Ever Recorded Could Drop 2 Years’ Rain In 2 Days

Severe Weather Alert

The strongest tropical cyclone ever measured in the northern Indian Ocean has made landfall in eastern Africa, where it is poised to drop two years’ worth of rain in the next two days.

Tropical Cyclone Gati made landfall in Somalia on Sunday with sustained winds of around 105 mph. It’s the first recorded instance of a hurricane-strength system hitting the country. At one point before landfall, Gati’s winds were measured at 115 mph.

“Gati is the strongest tropical cyclone that has been recorded in this region of the globe; further south than any category 3-equivalent cyclone in the North Indian Ocean,” said Sam Lillo, a researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Physical Sciences Laboratory.

Its intensification from about 40 mph to 115 mph was “the largest 12-hour increase on record for a tropical cyclone in the Indian Ocean,” Lillo added.

One reason Gati intensified so quickly is because the size of the cyclone itself is quite small, Lillo said. The warm water in the area coupled with low wind shear also contributed to the rapid strengthening, Accuweather reported.

“With climate change we’re seeing warmer ocean temperatures and a more moist atmosphere that’s leading to a greater chance of rapid intensification for tropical cyclones like Gati,” meteorologist and climate journalist Eric Holthaus told NPR. “Gati’s strength is part of that broader global pattern of stronger storms.”

And those storms are leading to a lot more rain. Northern Somalia usually gets about 4 inches of rain per year; data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show Gati could bring 8 inches over the next two days — “two years worth of rainfall in just two days,” Holthaus said. Some isolated areas could see even more than that.

“The system may impact Socotra, Somalia, Yemen and western Oman from [Sunday] night into Monday and potentially Tuesday, with the main threat being heavy rain and flash flooding,” said AccuWeather’s lead international meteorologist, Jason Nicholls, told the site.

A United Nations alert warned the storm posed an immediate threat to the marine shipping lane that links Somalia and the Gulf states.

Gati is much more intense than the previous strongest storm to hit Somalia — a 2018 cyclone that brought winds of 60 mph.

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Red alert issued for Northern Sri Lanka as Cyclone Nivar approaches

Red Alert Issued

A red alert has been issued for Northern Sri Lanka as Cyclone Nivar approaches.

The Department of Meteorology said that 100-150mm of rain can be expected at several places in the North on Tuesday and Wednesday while over 150mm of rain can be expected at isolated areas.

Navel and fishing communities have been warned not to venture into sea areas extending from Puttalam to Pottuvill via Mannar, Kankasanthurai, Trincomalee and Batticaloa.

Those who are out at the aforementioned sea areas have been advised to return to coast or move to safer areas immediately.

Naval and fishing communities have been request to be vigilant during in the sea areas extending from Puttalam to Matara via Colombo.

Meanwhile, the Indian media reported that a low-pressure belt forming over the Bay of Bengal is expected to turn into a cyclonic storm over the next couple of days bringing heavy to extremely heavy rainfall to parts of Tamil Nadu.

The cyclone has been named Nivar and is steering itself towards the northern Tamil Nadu coast.

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Cyclone Sara to lash Moscow with snowfall

Snow Alert

On Sunday, cyclone Sara will cover Moscow with heavy snowfall, the peak will be on Monday morning with visibility less than 1000 meters, the leading expert of the Phobos weather center, Yevgeny Tishkovets informed.

According to him, it will be cloudy in Moscow on Sunday night and in the first half of the day, but without significant precipitation. Light frost is expected at night, the temperature in the capital will drop to – 2 -4 °C

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