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Cyclone Yaas

Cyclone Yaas

Cyclone Yaas got its name from Oman, and the word “Yaas” comes from Persian, meaning Jasmine in English. In late May 2021, a low-pressure area formed over the North Andaman Sea, connecting with the east-central Bay of Bengal. Eventually, it strengthened into a severe cyclonic storm named Cyclone Yaas. Typically, tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean region, including the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, occur during the pre-monsoon season (April to June) and the post-monsoon season (October to December).

About Cyclone Yaas

  • Cyclone Yaas is a Tropical Cyclone.
  • It has been named by Oman. Yaas means a tree bearing fragrant flowers.
  • Cyclone Yaas is the first cyclonic storm to develop over the Bay of Bengal in 2021.
  • Cyclone Yaas crossed the northern Odisha coast around 20 km south of Balasore at its peak intensity as a very severe cyclonic storm.

Classification of Cyclone Yaas

  • Cyclone Yaas was labeled as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS), and this classification is determined by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • The IMD classifies cyclones based on their maximum sustained surface wind speed (MSW).
  • When a cyclone reaches a wind speed of 48-63 knots, it is considered severe.
  • If the wind speed increases to 64-89 knots, the cyclone is classified as very severe.
  • When the wind speed reaches 90-119 knots, the cyclone is termed extremely severe.
  • The highest classification is a super cyclonic storm, which occurs when the maximum sustained wind speed is 120 knots or more.

Areas affected by Cyclone Yaas

Cyclone Yaas had a big impact on the areas near Odisha and West Bengal. After hitting the region, it lost some of its strength and became a cyclonic storm. As it moved along the eastern coast, it caused a lot of damage and left a trail of destruction in its wake.

Preparations made for Cyclones Yaas

  • About 46 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were deployed for relief and rescue operations.
  • They were deployed in various coastal Indian states and Union Territories, including West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry.
  • The Indian armed forces were put on alert, and several aircraft and warships were set on standby for relief and rescue operations.
  • IMD issued a warning for wind, rainfall, and high tides to all the areas expected to be affected by the Cyclone Yaas.
  • Fishers were advised not to travel into the southeast Bay of Bengal and the South Andaman Sea from May 21 onwards.

What are Tropical Cyclones?

A tropical cyclone is an intense circular storm originating over warm tropical oceans characterised by low atmospheric pressure, heavy rain, and high winds. This type of storm is called “hurricanes” in the eastern Pacific and North Atlantic regions, “typhoons’ in China and Southeast Asia, “tropical cyclones” in the Indian Ocean and southwest Pacific region and “Willy-willies’ in northwestern Australia.

Naming of Tropical Cyclones

  • In the North Indian Ocean Region, which includes the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, countries follow guidelines from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to name cyclones.
  • Thirteen countries are part of this region: India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Oman, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Yemen.
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is a key player. It’s one of six Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMC) globally.
  • The IMD is responsible for issuing advisories and naming tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean Region.

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