Cyclone Fani is making rounds across India reaching the Centre which is evident from the release of ₹ 1086 crore for undertaking preventive and relief measures. National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) which is an apex body of the country to deal with emergency situations has already met twice. The Coastal guards, Navy and NDRF are on high alert. Odisha is issued an ‘yellow warning’ by meteorological department.
Fani is the name given by Bangladesh, which means ‘hood of the snake’. Originating as a tropical cyclone from a depression formed near Sumatra in Bay of Bengal, it is moving towards the east coast of India and is likely to hit hard over the coasts of Odisha and West Bengal in three to four days i.e., by May 5th 2019. It has intensified into an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ over the course of time.
Tropical cyclones are basically violent storms originating over oceans in tropical region. The harsh and heavy rainfall, violent wind speeds and storm surges brings in large scale destructions when they reach the coasts. A few conditions which promote the formation of tropical cyclone are – large sea surface with a temperature higher than 27 degree Celsius, presence of Coriolis force (an apparent motion caused due to the rotation of the Earth), a small variation in vertical wind speeds, a low pressure area and upper divergence of air.
One interesting fact is the naming of these cyclones. Cyclones were not named previously. However, it was in 2000 the deliberations to name the cyclones started. It was agreed upon in 2004. The countries surrounding the Indian Ocean – India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and Pakistan – suggest a set of names. These names are sequentially assigned when a cyclonic storm develops.
As the cyclone moves over the ocean, it intensifies by gaining moisture. The longer it stays over water, the larger is the destruction it can cause. This is one of the concerns expressed by INCOIS (Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services) Director Sri Satheesh Shenoi that the cyclone Fani is moving slowly over the ocean which is an immediate cause of concern.
The wind speed of tropical cyclones are very high which effects a wide scale destruction of the coasts. Being an extremely severe cyclone, Fani is expected to hit Odisha coast in two days at a speed of around 200 Kmph. The state authorities have already made available makeshift camps and have evacuated people from coastal regions. The fishermen are instructed to stay away from entering the seas.
One of the reasons for Fani to originate is the warming of Bay of Bengal. The man made interventions have affected nature so much so that the uninvited guests like cyclone, earthquake, glacial receding have become inevitable. Taking cue from these disasters, man has to strive to turn towards sustainability. Millions of crores of rupees are spent across the world for disaster management; we ourselves have brought it to us. Our greed is the reason for this. Mahatma Gandhi has rightly said “Earth provides enough to every man’s needs but not every man’s greed”.
Minimal living and leading a life of sustainability has to be our goal. Fighting against climate change equals fighting for the existence of our future generations. With life being too short and uncertain and with no guarantee to live tomorrow, it is better we do our tiny bit from this moment and live harmoniously in this society by pushing away our ego clashes and ‘nothing can be done just by a single person like me’ attitude. Let me end this article with a prayer for the safety of the lives of the people who will be affected by Fani and with a wish that the cyclonic storm dissipates without causing any destruction and harm.