Striking Image of Potent Cyclone Mocha Approaching Mount Everest

by François Dupont
Cyclone Mocha

The Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite garnered a sweeping view of Cyclone Mocha, an unprecedented tempest that originated in the Indian Ocean and swept the Bay of Bengal in May 2023. Clocking peak winds of 280 km per hour, it is considered one of the most potent storms ever to have occurred in the North Indian Ocean. Though it lessened in intensity before hitting Bangladesh and Myanmar, it still inflicted extensive damage upon landfall, leading to loss of residences, infrastructural destruction, and flood-ravaged croplands. Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2023), processed by ESA

A potent tempest, Cyclone Mocha, wreaked extensive devastation across the Bay of Bengal in May 2023. Vital satellite imagery supplied by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission helped in disaster response and unveiled large-scale global dynamics, including the eastern part of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau.

On May 13, 2023, the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission captured this image of the mighty Cyclone Mocha as it navigated the Bay of Bengal, moving northeast towards Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Cyclone Mocha was birthed in the Indian Ocean and intensified as it journeyed toward the Bay of Bengal. With wind speeds peaking at 280 km per hour (175 miles per hour), it ranked as one of the most potent storms in the North Indian Ocean’s history, comparable to Cyclone Fani, which struck the same region in May 2019.

Even though the storm diminished slightly as it neared Myanmar and Bangladesh, it caused widespread devastation upon making landfall on May 14.

With countless individuals losing their homes, considerable infrastructure damage, and flooded farmlands, both the International Charter Space and Major Disasters and the Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service were activated to provide maps based on satellite data. This assistance was crucial for civil protection authorities and the international humanitarian community in their emergency response efforts.

Earth-orbiting satellites provide invaluable, current information for observing such events, as evidenced by the Copernicus Sentinel-3. The mission is designed to quantify, monitor, and comprehend large-scale global dynamics, offering crucial information for ocean and weather prediction in near-real-time.

Obtained with the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument, this expansive view spans over 2000 km from north to south. The storm is estimated to measure over 1000 km (600 miles) across.

In the cloud-free section at the top of the image, we can see portions of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, as well as the whole country of Bhutan. The white, snow-capped peaks of the eastern Himalayas, including Mount Everest – the Earth’s tallest mountain – are distinctly visible. The Tibetan Plateau, a part of China, appears in brownish hues due to the lack of vegetation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Cyclone Mocha

What is Cyclone Mocha?

Cyclone Mocha is a powerful storm that originated in the Indian Ocean and swept across the Bay of Bengal in May 2023. It had peak winds of 280 km per hour and caused widespread damage upon landfall.

What satellite captured the image of Cyclone Mocha?

The image of Cyclone Mocha was captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite, which provides vital satellite imagery for various purposes, including disaster response and monitoring global dynamics.

How intense was Cyclone Mocha?

Cyclone Mocha was one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the North Indian Ocean, with wind speeds reaching 280 km per hour (175 miles per hour). It was comparable in intensity to Cyclone Fani, which hit the same region in May 2019.

What was the extent of the damage caused by Cyclone Mocha?

Cyclone Mocha caused extensive damage upon making landfall, resulting in the loss of homes, infrastructural damage, and inundated croplands. Thousands of people were affected by the storm, prompting emergency response efforts by various organizations.

How did the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission contribute to disaster response?

The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission provided essential satellite imagery that aided disaster response efforts. It helped civil protection authorities and the international humanitarian community by supplying maps based on satellite data for assessing the impact of the storm and coordinating emergency response actions.

More about Cyclone Mocha

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LisA201 July 9, 2023 - 3:37 pm

oh man! cyclone mocha sounds scary! i cant imagine how strong it was with winds at 280 km/h!! hope everyone is okay after the storm.

StormChaser23 July 9, 2023 - 5:54 pm

copernicus sentinel-3 rocks! their satellite images are so important for disaster response. this storm must have been crazy to cause so much damage.

Weath3rN3rd July 10, 2023 - 1:28 am

whoa! cyclone mocha and cyclone fani are like twins! both hit the same area with such intensity. mother nature can be wild sometimes!

NatGeoFanGirl July 10, 2023 - 6:37 am

the image of the storm from space must be mind-blowing! i love how satellites like copernicus sentinel-3 help us understand and predict weather. science is amazing!

RescueHero007 July 10, 2023 - 10:39 am

it’s devastating to hear about the homes and infrastructural damage caused by cyclone mocha. kudos to the organizations that provided maps and support for emergency response. teamwork matters!


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