Cyclone Nisarga : Another fear factor

It’s not been even two weeks since the coasts of West Bengal and Orissa are hit by the Amphan cyclone. We are moving ahead towards facing another deadly cyclone but on the western coast. Nisarga cyclone is going to hit the Maharashtra coast on Wednesday which is moving in its full swift northwards, in the Arabian Sea. If we compare Amphan with Nisarga, Amphan was more powerful and intense than this coming cyclone. Moreover, studies have shown that it is not even a full-fledged cylone. Infact it is more similar to a ‘depression’ which has converted itself into ‘deep depression’ lately. The depression is likely to make a landfall between the coastline of Maharashtra and Gujarat. To be precise, Daman and Rigarh are the places where the cyclone is about to make a landfall. IMD(India Meteorological Department) has issued red alert, and instructed the evacuation of the low-lying areas of the western coast.As of 1 June, it has speed of 11 kmph which is laid centered over East-Central Arabian Sea which is 280 kms west-southwest of Panjim, 490 kms south-southwest of Bombay and 710 kms south-southwest of Surat.

Intensity

By the time, it will be evolved into a Severe Cyclonic Storm, it will be of strength 2 on the scale of 1-5 used to measure the strength of cyclones. Their strengths are measured by the magnitude of the wind speeds generated by them. Nisarga’s wind speed would be in the range 95-105 kmph, at its strongest. Cyclones originated in the Arabian Sea side are found less stronger and less intense than those formed in the Bay of Bengal side of the north Indian Ocean. Amphan was called as ‘Super cyclone’ when it was of magnitude 5 but later on it weakened to 4, as ‘Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm’. Usually the cold water of the Arabian Sea prevents the formation of such strong cyclones which is faced by the eastern coast every year.

What kind of destruction can be caused?

The IMD has said that Nisarga could flood the low-lying areas causing huge structural damage in big cities like Bombay such as falling of trees and power polls. This has lead to the concern that how would the people cope up with such a loss who are already struggling with Covid-19. Some coastal districts of Maharashtra are likely to come directly under the threat of Nisarga. The IMD has already warned the fishermen to not to go towards the Arabian Sea coastline. Cities like Rigad, Thane, Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri are also ought to be affected. Alert has been issued to them. Basically, a red-alert signifying about the possibility of heavy rainfall of more than 204.5 mm. A depression has already marked its presence parallelly to the western coast which keeps on intensifying and is gradually moving along the coast. Both Maharashtra and Gujarat government has ordered the people living in the low-lying areas to move towards the safer places. Due to such circumstances, the southeast and the east-central regions of Arabian Sea are experiencing rough weather, which is about to get intensified by this coming cyclone.

What leads to the formation of cyclones?

Cyclones are formed when due to heat, the water converts into warm and moist air which rises upwards. Thus, a low pressure area is created. Near the equator, tropical cyclones are formed from the warm ocean water. After that, the cool air from the surroundings gradually descends down to fill the low pressure area. Then the process continues and in this way Cyclonic Storms are caused. The warm air which rose up containing the water vapour forms the clouds due to condensation. This cycle is maintained and this system keeps itself feeding from the ocean’s water.

When the system of the storm starts rotating and increases its speed, then an eye is formed at the centre. The surrounding is very clear and calm around the eye. The storm is termed as ‘tropical cyclone’ when its speed crosses 120 kmph. These tropical cyclones are usually weakened when they are not fed by the water vapours of the ocean. Before dying out, they cause rainfall and heavy wind damage. The windy storms bring ocean water to the shore causing flood. This phenomenon is termed as storm surge and it is dangerous for the coastal areas. Cyclones can be of many types depending on the destruction they cause as well as the kinds of winds they produce.

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