MeT bodies of 13 nations name future cyclones

Shaheen, Gulab, Agni: Meteorological Department bodies of 13 nations name future cyclones

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Shaheen, Gulab, Tej, Agni, Aag are among the 169 names selected by 13 countries for christening future cyclones in the north Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, the India Meteorological Department said on Tuesday.

The earlier list of names for cyclones, formulated by meteorological departments of eight countries in 2004, will exhaust after one more cyclone develops in the north Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea.

The next cyclone will be christened 'Amphan', a name proposed by Thailand, which is also the last in the 2004 list.

This could perhaps be in the Bay of Bengal as a low pressure area is expected to develop in the south Andaman Sea. 

In 2018, a new panel was set up to coordinate and decide names for future cyclones, Mrutunjay Mohapatra, the director general of the IMD, said.

Accordingly, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen gave their preferences for names, Mohapatra said.

He was appointed as the rapporteur for the process by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

Mohapatra said since the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the north Indian Ocean witness five cyclones a year, the list could last for the next 25 years. 

He said the process of naming the cyclone, which started in 2004, helps the scientific community, disaster managers, media and general masses identify each individual cyclone, create awareness of its development, remove confusion in case of simultaneous occurrence of tropical cyclones over a region.

It also helps in rapidly and effectively disseminating warnings to a much wider audience, he said.

Every country has given 13 names. Among the new names that have been finalised are 'Arnab', proposed by Bangladesh, Shaheen by Qatar and Lulu by Pakistan, Pinku by Myanmar, Bahar by Qatar. India proposed names such as Gati (speed), Tej (speed), Murasu (musical instrument in Tamil), Aag (fire), Neer (water), Prabhanjan, Ghurni, Ambud, Jaladhi and Vega.

The Indian names were selected by a panel within the IMD which had also sought suggestions from the public.

According to the IMD guidelines, the proposed name should be neutral to politics, political figures, religious beliefs, cultures and gender. The name should be chosen in such a way that it does not hurt the sentiments of any group of population over the globe. Plus, it should not be "very rude and cruel" in nature and easy to pronounce.

More importantly, it should not be offensive to any member, it said. 

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