December 10, 2023


Syllabus- General Studies 1

Recent context

The recent Cyclone Tauktae that developed in Arabian Sea has resulted in massive damages to the western coast followed by Cyclone Yass on the eastern coast of India.

  • The cyclone was categorised as a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’.
  • The Gujarat coast was the worst hit as the cyclone made landfall in eastern Diu with high intensity wind speed ranging from 160-170 km/hr.
  • Cyclone Tauktae is the second cyclone after Cyclone Kandla (1998) which affected Gujarat coast so badly. 
  • Cyclone Tauktae had a great impact on the climate of Delhi and other northern states.
  • The cyclonic storm brought massive rain and heavy wind across the western coast of India. 
  • Tauktae also resulted in flash floods and heavy rains in Kerala and Lakshadweep region.
  • The aftermath of Tauktae has raised questions regarding cyclone management in India and also, the rising global warming. 
  • Usually, the effect of cyclones is seen in one or two states. However, Cyclone Tauktae’s impact was seen on the whole western coast. 
  • After Cyclone Tauktae , Cyclone Yaas is developing in Bay of Bengal and is expected to intensify around May 25, 2021. 

Tropical Cyclones-

  • The term ‘cyclone’ has a greek origin from the word ‘cyclos’. Cyclos means coils of snakes. Henry Peddington gave this term as from his view, the cyclonic storms in Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea appeared to be coiled serpents of the sea. 
  • Tropical cyclones are the low pressure circular storm system formed in the warm waters of tropical oceans. 
  • Tropical cyclones are usually formed between the extent of 5 degree to 30 degree in both hemispheres. 
  • These tropical cyclones are called with different names in different regions – 
  1. Typhoons in SouthEast Asia.
  2. Willy Willy in Australia.
  3. Tropical cyclones in Indian ocean.
  4. Hurricanes in Carribean sea.
  • The cyclones are typically characterised by inward circulation of air due to presence of low pressure area within the system. 
  • The cyclonic rotation is observed to be clockwise in the southern hemisphere and anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere. 
  • The central calm region of the cyclone is called as the eye of the cyclone. 
  • Usually, the cyclone eye’s diameter varies from 30-50 km in  extent. 
  • The cyclone eye is characterised by low pressure, warm temperatures, light winds .The region is free of clouds. 
  • The intensity of the cyclonic storm and the wind intensity depends on the quantity of drop in pressure at the centre and the rate at which the pressure increases outwards.
  • A fully developed cyclonic storm system consists of the eye, the inner eye wall and the outer eye wall. 

Naming of Cyclones-

  • The names of cyclones are done on the basis of World Meteorological Organisation’s guidelines that involve participation of several countries. 
  • As per the guidelines, the countries are required to give names for the cyclonic storms. 
  • The Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea region consists of the North Indian Ocean region. 
  • There are 13 members in the North Indian Ocean Region – India, Myanmar, Oman, Maldives, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Qatar, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and UAE.
  • The name ‘Tauktae’ is given by Myanmar and ‘Yass’ by Oman.

Cyclone Management in India-

India has a vast coastline of nearly 7500 km.  Out of this, nearly 5700 km belongs to areas which are prone to cyclonic storms.Due to frequent cyclones over the years in Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea have resulted in losses of lives and damages of infrastructure in the coastal regions.

  • The National Disaster Management Authority in India is responsible for development of guidelines related to management cyclones in India.
  • Indian Meteorological Department is the main authority in India that is responsible for the provision of warnings related to cyclones to the authorities in potentially affected areas.

For effective cyclone management

Structural measures

  • These are any physical construction to reduce or avoid possible impacts of hazards, or the application of engineering techniques or technology to achieve hazard resistance and resilience in structures or systems.
  • Constructions of shelter homes and all weather infrastructure like bridges, roads, buildings, canals are included in this category.
  • Construction of infrastructure for the purpose of  power supply, communication, saline embankments etc
Non-structural measures

  • These are measures not involving physical construction which use knowledge, practice or agreement to reduce disaster risks and impacts, in particular through policies and laws, public awareness raising, training and education.
  • include early warnings systems regarding cyclones using technology like satellites, radar systems, drones; awareness programmes ; communication and dissemination systems
  • Mangrove cultivation in coastal areas.



Way Forward

  • Frequent cyclones are a signal towards the harsh results of climate change and global warming. On an average 5 cyclones are formed in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea Region. 
  • However, a trend has been witnessed where the number of cyclones developing in the Arabian Sea has increased. This has been a result of the rise in temperature of Arabian sea. 
  • Thus, the global community must come together to work for mitigating the impacts of global warming. 

Question- Explain the mechanism of formation of cyclones. Also describe the cyclone management mechanism in India .

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