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Planet Earth

First North Indian Cyclone of the Year; Headed for Myanmar/Bangladesh Border

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyMay 14, 2007 4:55 PM
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Uh oh. This one could be trouble. The deadliest tropical cyclones on earth are those that have struck low-lying Bangladesh. Twice in the past fifty years, storms in this region have killed more than 100,000 people. By far the worst was the 1970 Bhola cyclone that killed 300,000 to 500,000. I'm not saying the current storm, known only as 01B, is going to turn out anything like that. But whenever you see one headed towards Bangladesh you tend to worry. In the case of the present cyclone, it's still only a strong tropical storm, and doesn't look like it has much time to intensify before landfall. Moreover, it's expected to strike more towards the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, rather than centrally in Bangladesh. But a turn to the left, allowing the storm to stay over water longer, could be a very bad thing.

P.S.: Totally unrelatedly, the Mooney-Nisbet show hits Washington, D.C., today, with a public talk at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Details here. Come on out....and if you haven't yet don't forget to check out our homepage, Speaking Science 2.0.

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