The depression over southeast Bay of Bengal is expected to intensify first into a deep depression and later into a cyclonic storm on Monday, the India Meteorological Department has said.
If it does indeed develop into a cyclonic storm, it will be called ‘Cyclone Asani’. The name has been given by Sri Lanka.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
As per reports, ‘asani’ roughly translates to ‘wrath’ in Sinhala, one of the official languages in Sri Lanka.
Fortunately, the weather system is not likely to live up to its name. It is expected to be a cyclonic storm of wind speeds ranging beyween 70 km and 90 km, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said.
It will, most probably, not turn into a cyclone of high intensity.
WHY DID SRI LANKA NAME IT?
There are six regional meteorological centres across the world with the mandate of naming tropical cyclones. The Indian Meteorological Department is one of the six. New Delhi is mandated to name tropical cyclones that develop over the north Indian Ocean (NIO) including the Bay of Bengal (BoB) and the Arabian Sea (AS).
For the same, the IMD follows a standard procedure. Names are proposed by thirteen member countries – Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
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A list of 169 names, 13 suggested by each of the 13 nations, was drawn up in 2020. The names were listed country-wise, with the nations ordered alphabetically. The names are picked up sequentially from the list such that the nations name cyclones one by one.
Hence, the weather system over the Bay of Bengal has been named Asani, the next name in the list.
Cyclones are named to avoid confusion when multiple weather systems are moving in one sea or ocean at the same time.
The depression is likely to make landfall on March 23 after heading towards the Bangladesh-Myanmar coasts.
Tourism activities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been suspended till March 22 and an advisory has been issued to fishermen not to venture into the Andaman Sea and the adjoining south-east Bay of Bengal.