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Cyclone Akash

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Cyclonic Storm Akash
Cyclonic storm (IMD scale)
Category 1 (Saffir–Simpson scale)
Akash May 14 2007 0700Z.jpg
AQUA MODIS image of Akash on May 14
Formed May 12, 2007 (2007-05-12)
Dissipated May 15, 2007 (2007-05-16)
Highest winds 3-minute sustained: 85 km/h (50 mph)
1-minute sustained: 120 km/h (75 mph)
Lowest pressure 988 hPa (mbar); 29.18 inHg
Fatalities 14 direct
Damage $982 million (2007 USD)
Areas affected Andaman Islands, Nicobar Islands, Bangladesh, Burma
Part of the 2007 North Indian Ocean cyclone season

Cyclone Akash (JTWC designation: 01B, also known as Cyclonic Storm Akash) was the first named tropical cyclone of the 2007 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. Warned by both India Meteorological Department (IMD) and Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), it formed from an area of disturbed weather on the Bay of Bengal on May 12, and gradually organized as it drifted northward. An eye began to develop as it approached land, and after reaching peak 3-min sustained winds of 85 km/h (50 mph) it struck about 115 km (70 mi) south of Chittagong in Bangladesh. Akash rapidly weakened over land, and advisories were discontinued on May 15.

The storm initially brought heavy rainfall to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Upon striking Bangladesh, Cyclonic Storm Akash produced a moderate storm tide, along with strong winds and heavy rains. The storm left dozens of boats missing, with three fisherman confirmed killed and another 50 missing. Near the coast, thousands of houses were damaged from the flooding caused by the storm. In Burma, its storm tide caused some coastal flooding. In all, 14 people were killed and damages amounted to US$982 million.

Meteorological history[edit]

Map plotting the track and intensity of the storm according to the Saffir–Simpson scale
Image of Tropical Cyclone 01B (Akash) right after formation.

During the second week of May, low pressures persisted across the Bay of Bengal. An area of convection developed on May 11, and the next day the India Meteorological Department (IMD) classified it as a depression.[1] The system drifted northward,[2] and initially moderate wind shear kept the deep convection on the periphery of the consolidating low-level circulation center.[3] Gradually, banding features developed along the eastern semicircle, and with decreasing amounts of wind shear the system organized further.[4] By May 13, the pressure had dropped to 1000 mbar as wind shear levels dropped significantly. An anticyclone developed over the system, while a mid-latitude trough over northeastern India provided favorable outflow. Convection continued to consolidate around the low-level circulation,[5] and with well-defined banding features and a central dense overcast over the center of circulation, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) upgraded it to Tropical Cyclone 01B at 1121 UTC on May 13 while located about 545 km (340 mi) west-northwest of Yangon, Burma.[6]

Upon first being upgraded, the storm tracked steadily northward due to a break in a mid-level ridge.[6] Early on May 14, IMD upgraded the system to deep depression status,[7] and six hours later classified it as Cyclonic Storm Akash after attaining 3-min sustained winds of 40 mph (65 km/h).[8] Akash continued to organize, with deep convection wrapping fully around the low-level circulation.[9] An eye began to form as the storm approached land, and at 1800 UTC on May 14 JTWC estimated 1-min sustained winds of 120 km/h (75 mph).[10] Officially, Akash attained peak 3-min sustained winds of 85 km/h (50 mph) and a minimum central pressure of 988 hPa.[11] Additionally, meteorologists in Burma estimated Akash peaked with winds of 160 km/h (100 mph).[12] As it interacted with the mid-latitude westerlies, it began to become extratropical.[10] Shortly after reaching peak winds, Akash made landfall about 115 km (70 mi) south of Chittagong. The storm weakened rapidly as it continued inland,[13] and early on May 15 IMD issued its final advisory on the system;[14] shortly thereafter, JTWC discontinued advisories.[13] The name was contributed by India, Akash means Sky in Hindi language.

Preparations[edit]

In its daily tropical weather outlook, the India Meteorological Department warned fishermen on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to not go into the ocean due to the anticipated rough seas.[2] Upon approaching the coast of Bangladesh, officials canceled all flights to and from the Shah Amanat International Airport. Additionally, authorities at the port of Chittagong worked to protect cargo ships from the storm,[15] and it was ultimately closed for a period of 19 hours.[16][17] In preparation for Akash, officials advised coastal residents to evacuate further inland;[15] about 80,000 total residents left for emergency shelters.[16] About 40,000 Red Cross volunteers were prepared to aid those potentially affected.[15]

Impact[edit]

Wettest tropical cyclones and their remnants in Bangladesh
Highest-known totals
Precipitation Storm Location Ref.
Rank mm in
1 1,051.2 41.39 Komen 2015 Chittagong [18]
2 ~300 ~12.00 Rashmi 2008 [19]
3 280 11.02 Monsoon Depression — Sep. 2004 Barisal [20]
4 253 10.00 Viyaru 2013 Patuakhali [21]
5 227.2 8.94 Trop. Depression — Oct. 2004 Rangpur [22]
6 220.0 8.66 Bhola 1970 Maya Bandar [23]
7 200 7.87 Sidr 2007 [24]
8 130 5.11 Aila 2009 Chittagong [25]
9 129 5.07 Bijli 2009 [26]
10 53 2.13 Akash 2007 [27]

The India Meteorological Department estimated winds of 45–55 km/h (28–34 mph) affected the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, though no land reports were received.[2] In Sittwe in Burma, the storm produced a storm tide of 3 m (10 ft), which flooded coastal areas.[12]

In Chittagong, about 115 km (70 mi) north of where Akash moved ashore, surface stations reported peak winds of 37 km/h (23 mph) and a pressure of 996.8vhPa.[13] Near its landfall location, Akash produced high tides that flooded coastal areas with up to 1.5 m (5 ft) of water,[16] destroying at least 30 businesses.[12] The cyclone destroyed 205 houses and left an additional 845 damaged.[27] Akash caused moderate crop damage near the coast,[12] including 2 ha (4.9 acres) of destroyed lands of shrimp farms.[17] Heavy precipitation was reported, with one station reporting a total of 53 mm (2.12 in);[27] the rainfall caused flooding in inland areas.[16] The heavy rains, caused by outer bands of the cyclone before it made landfall, limited play in Chittagong in the third One Day International cricket match between India and Bangladesh, before the match was abandoned.[28] Strong winds caused power outages throughout Cox's Bazar District,[16] and downed about 200 trees on St. Martin's Island. The cyclone left a total of 10 boats unaccounted for, with about 50 fishermen missing. In total, three fisherman were confirmed killed, all on St. Martin's Island,[17] with two people left hospitalized.[29] The passage of Cyclone Akash left many people homeless. Initially there was no response from the government.[29] In all, 14 people were killed by Akash and damages amounted to US$982 million.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ India Meteorological Department (2007). "May 12 Tropical Weather Outlook for North Indian Ocean". Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  2. ^ a b c India Meteorological Department (2007). "May 13 Tropical Weather Outlook for North Indian Ocean". Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  3. ^ Charlie Forecast Team (2007). "May 12 Significant Tropical Weather Advisory for the Indian Ocean". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  4. ^ Delta Forecast Team (2007). "May 12 Significant Tropical Weather Advisory for the Indian Ocean (2)". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  5. ^ Delta Forecast Team (2007). "May 13 Significant Tropical Weather Advisory for the Indian Ocean". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  6. ^ a b Joint Typhoon Warning Center (2007). "Tropical Cyclone 01B Warning NR 001". Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  7. ^ India Meteorological Department (2007). "May 14 Tropical Weather Outlook for North Indian Ocean". Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  8. ^ India Meteorological Department (2007). "Tropical Cyclone Akash Warning NR 001". Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  9. ^ Joint Typhoon Warning Center (2007). "Tropical Cyclone 01B Warning NR 002". Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  10. ^ a b Joint Typhoon Warning Center (2007). "Tropical Cyclone 01B (Akash) Warning NR 003". Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  11. ^ India Meteorological Department (2007). "TC Advisory on Cyclonic Storm Akash". Archived from the original on May 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  12. ^ a b c d Nizam Ahmed; Nurul Islam; Aung Hla Tun (2007). "Tidal surge floods Bangladesh coastal villages". Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  13. ^ a b c Joint Typhoon Warning Center (2007). "Tropical Cyclone 01B (Akash) Warning NR 004". Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  14. ^ India Meteorological Department (2007). "Special Bulletin for Met. Area North of Equator". Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  15. ^ a b c Malaysia Sun (2007). "Bangladesh airport, seaport shut as cyclone 'Akash' intensifies". Archived from the original on 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  16. ^ a b c d e The Daily Star (2007). "Cyclone Akash spawns tidal surge in coasts". Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  17. ^ a b c The Daily Star (2007). "3 killed, 50 missing as cyclone Akash makes landfall". Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  18. ^ Nick Wiltgen (July 31, 2015). "Tropical Cyclone Komen Soaking Waterlogged Bangladesh, Myanmar; At Least 33 Reported Dead, 6 Missing". The Weather Channel. Retrieved July 31, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Bangladesh: Tropical Cyclone Rashmi" (PDF). World Food Program. United Nations. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 11, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  20. ^ Padgett, Gary; Kevin Boyle; John Wallace; Huang Chunliang; Simon Clarke (2005-05-17). "Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary September 2004". Australian Severe Weather Index. Jimmy Deguara. Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  21. ^ "Crops on 1.28 lakh hectares land damaged". The Daily Star. May 18, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2013. 
  22. ^ Padgett, Gary; Kevin Boyle; John Wallace; Huang Chunliang; Simon Clarke (2005-05-17). "Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary October 2004". Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  23. ^ 1970 Annual Summary Part C — Storms & Depressions (PDF) (India Weather Review). India Meteorological Department. p. 10. Archived from the original on 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  24. ^ "Cyclone Sidr Rainfall Total". NASA. 2007. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  25. ^ Staff Writer (2009). "Cyclone Aila Preliminary Report" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  26. ^ Hal Pierce and Rob Gutro (April 20, 2009). "Hurricane Season 2009: Bijli (Northern Indian Ocean)". NASA. Retrieved May 23, 2009. 
  27. ^ a b c International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (2007). "Bangladesh: Cyclonic Storm Information Bulletin No. 01/2007". Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
  28. ^ Asian News International (2007). "India, Bangladesh third ODI called off". Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  29. ^ a b Narinjara News (2007). "No Relief for Akash's Victims in Arakan". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
  30. ^ Myint Thein (2008-03-05). "Relief and Resettlement Department" (PDF). Social Welfare Department. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 

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