Higher waves around Phuket, they said, are because of a strengthening of the southwest monsoon, and not the cyclone. This is driving waves to heights of around two metres, and rain is expected by the weekend. Small boats are advised to stay onshore from Friday to Sunday (May 17-19).
Conditions will improve from Monday (May 20), with rain abating.
In Bangladesh, AFP reports that at least four people have died and almost one million people in coastal communities have been evacuated to cyclone shelters, as Cyclone Mahasen cut a swath 500 kilometres wide, from Dhaka in Bangladesh to Sittwe in Myanmar’s Rakhine province.
Although the cyclone landed packing winds of 100 kmh, it is rapidly weakening and damage is expected to be less than was feared.