Cyclones Current Affairs - 2019

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RIMES terms Titli cyclone ‘rarest of rare’

Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) for Africa and Asia has termed ‘Titli’, the severe cyclonic storm that devastated Odisha in October 2018 as ‘rarest cyclone’. Earlier, India Meteorological Department (IMD) had called formation of Titli as ‘rarest of rare’ occurrence after this severe cyclone had changed its path after making landfall.

Key Facts

According to RIMES, Titli cyclone is rarest of rare in more than 200 years of cyclone track history in Odisha coast and also elsewhere. Its rare features were in terms of its characteristics such as recurvature after landfall, retaining its destructive potential after landfall and recurvature away from coastal areas for more than two days. Due to its rare features, forecast information lacked actionable early warning information such as no indication of occurrence of secondary hazards, including landslides far away from the coasts especially in interior districts of Odisha. Due to this, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) had faced challenges in anticipating and managing Titli’s impact due to lack of impact-based actionable early warning information and prior experience. By learning lessons from Titli cyclone, measures can be evolved to minimise impacts in both coastal and non-coastal regions more effectively in future.

Suggestion

RIMES has recommended that detailed risk assessment has to be carried out for Odisha to understand the risks in light of the Titli devastation. At present, State government actions linked to cyclone-risk management are heavily focused on coastal areas where cyclones cross at their peak intensities. Therefore, coastal areas now have been largely well managed through evacuations and other protocols, leading to zero casualties in these areas.

Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES)

It is intergovernmental body registered under United Nations. It is owned and managed by 45 collaborating countries in Asia Pacific and Africa Region. India is chairman of the body. It was established in 2009 and was registered with UN in July 2009. It operates from its regional early warning centre located at campus of Asian Institute of Technology in Pathumthani, Thailand. It has evolved from efforts of countries in Africa and Asia in aftermath of 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Mandate

It seeks to establish regional early warning system within multi-hazard framework for generation and communication of early warning information and capacity building for preparedness and response to trans-boundary hazards. It provides information related to Tsunami and extreme weather conditions. It also acts as a test bed for emerging technologies and help to enhance performance.

Month: Categories: Environment & Biodiversity

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Fact Box: Tropical Cyclone “Mora”

A deep depression in the Bay of Bengal has been declared intensified into a tropical cyclone named Mora. This is second cyclone in the Bay of Bengal after Maarutha, which helped bring in the Monsoon earlier by a week over Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

The tropical Cyclone Mora is likely to hit Bangladesh coast in next 24 hours and expected to cause heavy rains in West Bengal and North East Indian states. It may also help to pull monsoon faster over mainland.

About 2017 North Indian Ocean cyclone season

Every year, the North Indian Ocean cyclone season extends roughly between April to December with two peaks in May and November. This season includes cyclones in Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea, apart from Indian Ocean in northern hemisphere. The first cyclone of 2017 season was Cyclone Maarutha which was formed in April, 2017 triggering heavy rainfall in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India’s Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Apart from other damages, three people were killed in Myanmar by Cyclone Maarutha. Cyclone Mora is second such cyclone in the Indian Ocean.

Naming of Tropical Cyclone

Tropical cyclones are classified into three main groups, based on intensity: tropical depressions, tropical storms, and a third group of more intense storms, whose name depends on the region. If a tropical storm in the North-western Pacific reaches hurricane-strength winds on the Beaufort scale, it is referred to as a typhoon. If a tropical storm passes the same benchmark in the Northeast Pacific Basin, or in the Atlantic, it is called a hurricane. Neither “hurricane” nor “typhoon” is used in either the Southern Hemisphere or the Indian Ocean. In these basins, storms of tropical nature are referred to simply as “cyclones”.

Month: Categories: Environment & Biodiversity

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