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Tropical Cyclone Strengthens on Path to Eastern India

Tropical Cyclone 5B strengthened over the Bay of Bengal and was heading toward India’s east coast, where it’s forecast to reach hurricane strength before making landfall near Chennai within three days.

The cyclone’s sustained winds increased to 83 kilometers (52 miles) per hour from 65 kph and Cyclone 5B was about 1,000 kilometers east-southeast of Chennai at 5:30 a.m. local time, the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center said. Waves were 3.4 meters (11 feet) high near the storm’s eye.

The cyclone was moving west-northwest at 15 kph and its winds are forecast to strengthen to hurricane strength tomorrow, with sustained winds reaching 139 kph as it approaches the Indian coast.

India is regularly buffeted by cyclones that form in the Bay of Bengal between April and November, bringing destruction and flooding to coastal communities.

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