Remnants of Cyclone Sitrang at noon, October 25

(The Weather Channel )

Tuesday, October 25: After last week’s episode of ‘will it or won’t it’ over the growing Cyclone ‘Sitrang’ in the Bay of Bengal, the system finally made landfall over Bangladesh late on Monday. So far, the fierce storm has already claimed nine lives — six more than the Severe Cyclonic Storm Asani — before weakening into a depression. After ravaging Bangladesh, the Northeastern states of India have also been added to its crosshairs, although now in the dominion of a much weaker storm.

The Weather Channel’s Met team predicts that the peak rainfall threat over the northeastern mountains will likely be on Tuesday itself. As a result of the tumultuous conditions, authorities in the area have shut down many transportation operations until the worst is over.

According to The Times of India, ten flights between the northeastern sisters and other states have been cancelled since Monday morning. The same fate also befell two intra-state trains. The region encountered mobile and internet network hiccups as well, but these connection issues were resolved soon after.

“We are on high alert in the northeast. The four districts where vigilance has been stepped up are important connecting rail links to the northeastern states,” explained Northeast Frontier Railway chief public relations officer, Sabyasachi De. “Rain has not yet caused any flooding or landslides. However, as the night goes by, we will know more.”

Aside from this, the usual unfortunate stormy consequences afflicted the coastal areas — tree uprootings, traffic disruptions, etc. While the India Meteorological Department (IMD) initially placed many northeastern states on a red warning (the highest alert level advising residents to take action to protect themselves against the weather) on Monday, it was soon downgraded to an orange alert.

What’s ahead for the northeastern states?

As mentioned earlier, the weather conditions are likely to be at their most severe over the northeastern states today, with forecasts indicating that the system will likely weaken into a well-marked low-pressure area by Tuesday evening.

As a result, parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura may witness heavy to very heavy showers (64.5 mm-204.5 mm) on Tuesday, October 25. In addition, heavy rainfall (64.5 mm-115.5 mm) may persist in parts of Arunachal on Wednesday, October 26, the IMD has predicted.

Most other parts of Northeast India may experience light to moderate rains on Tuesday. Strong gusts of 40-60 kmph wind speeds are likely over south Assam and adjoining Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura till around 4 PM and will reduce after that. Additionally, far northern parts of Arunachal Pradesh may even witness snow till Wednesday.

So far, the orange alert (meaning ‘be prepared’) over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya has remained in place, and is likely to persist till the end of the day. The remaining N.M.M.T. states are on a yellow watch (meaning ‘be updated’). The IMD is yet to predict the weather conditions for the subsequent days.

Meanwhile, a red warning wanes over the following northeastern districts for Tuesday, and residents must exercise extreme caution:

  • Meghalaya: East Khasi Hills, West Jaintia Hills, East Jaintia Hills
  • Assam: Dima Hasao, Cachar, Hailakandi, Karimganj
  • Mizoram: Kolasib

In addition, fisher’s warnings have been issued for Tuesday, advising the fisherfolk not to venture into the turbulent north Bay of Bengal and along and off Bangladesh coasts due to the very rough sea conditions until noon. The rough sea conditions are expected to start improving thereafter.


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