Monday - 24 June 2024 - 6:55 AM

The cyclone  Remal, means ‘sand’ in Arabic

Dr. Seema Javed

The Cyclone Remal’s  which affected the coastal areas in West Bengal and Bangladesh near the southwest of Mongla on Sunday night is an Arabic name which means sand. The name was given to this cyclone by Oman. It is assigned according to the standard convention of naming tropical cyclones in the region.

It affected the coastal areas between Sagar Island in West Bengal and Khepupara in Bangladesh, near the southwest of Mongla. Now gradually weakening on Monday, May 27, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) is a 185-member strong United Nations agency. Realising the importance of an effective cyclone warning and disaster mitigation in the North Indian Ocean region (comprising both the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal), WMO came together in 1972 to establish the Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC). The PTC originally comprised eight member countries — Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sultanate of Oman and Thailand.In its twenty-seventh session held in 2000 in Muscat, Oman, the PTC agreed to assign names to the tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. After each country in the panel sent its recommendations, the PTC finalised its list and started naming cyclones in the region in 2004. The PTC, in 2018, expanded to include Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.In April 2020, a list of 169 cyclone names were released — 13 suggestions each from the 13 countries. It is this list that is currently being used to name cyclones. Then these names are allotted to any cyclone, which takes place in the region, on a rotational basis regardless of which country proposed it.

For instance, the first cyclone after the list was named Nisarga (Bangladesh’s name choice), which hit Maharashtra, followed by Gati named by India which hit Somalia, then cyclone Nivar  which was named by Iran which hit Tamil Nadu.  After Nivar named by Iran, Burevi was named by the Maldives, Tauktae was named by Myanmar, then cyclone Yaas was named by Oman. After all the names of one column are exhausted, i.e. one name suggested by each country has been used, names from the next column are chosen, again starting from Bangladesh. For example after cyclone Mocha named  by Yemen the next cyclone was named Biparjoy  by Bangladesh again .

There are some basic guidelines that countries needed to follow while sending in their proposals. These include ensuring that the proposed name-

  • is neutral  and is not in any way linked to -(a) politics and political figures (b) religious beliefs, (c) cultures and (d) gender and not offensive.
  • does not hurt the sentiments of any population of the globe.
  • is not  rude & cruel
  • is short & easy to pronounce,
  • is not more than eight letters long;
  • is provided with its pronunciation
  • is not repeated.

Kolkata experienced heavy rain and strong winds. Teams from the Kolkata Municipality and Kolkata Police Disaster Management are actively clearing uprooted trees in the Alipore area.Winds gusting up to 135 kmph hit coastal West Bengal destroyed the Fragile dwellings and uprooted , trees and electric poles .More than one lakh people evacuated to safer areas.

Flights were suspended in Kolkata Airport. Heavy heavy rainfall in isolated locations in Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, and Tripura is expected.


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