How are cyclones named?

Few weeks back cyclone Aila had struck south West Bengal. Let’s not get into how much damage and destruction it caused in the villages, how many days the Calcutta municipality took in removing the fallen trees from the middle of busy roads, how fast electricity was restored in certain pockets of the city or how many millions of protests and demonstrations followed leaving the ever hapless citizens stranded! What struck me was the name of the cyclone. The last cyclone I had heard of was Bijli…and I could get the connotation of the name. But Aila???

Some research and here is what I found.

There is a procedure to name the cyclones in an ocean basin by the Tropical Cyclone Regional Body responsible for that basin. The storms that trigger cyclones in the North Indian Ocean zone are named by members of eight South Asian countries which are members of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The member countries are India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The list of names for cyclones that originate in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal are decided well in advance by WMO members. The name Aila was coined by the Met officials of the Maldives. Similarly some of the names of storms of the future are Phyan (Myanmar), Ward (Oman). Laila (Pakistan), Bandu (Sri Lanka) and Phet (Thailand).

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So what’s this blog about?

Another attempt? Well yes. Attempting to figure out another sustainable model (there are some other attempts going on parallel-ly). Well, we have a lot of questions in mind. we read up stuff, we do some research to find answers to these questions. This is an attempt to publish that little 15-20 minute research.
June 2009
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