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Cyclone 'IDAI'

  • Category
    Geography
  • Published
    28th Mar, 2019

The Indian Navy was the first to respond cyclone Idai, a category 4 tropical storm, which hit southern Africa, is the worst weather-related disaster to hit the southern hemisphere.

Context

The Indian Navy was the first to respond cyclone Idai, a category 4 tropical storm, which hit southern Africa, is the worst weather-related disaster to hit the southern hemisphere.

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  • Cyclone 'IDAI' made landfall at Beira, Mozambique in early hours of 15 March 2019 causing widespread damage and loss of human life in the Central and Northern provinces of the country.
  • The situation is being monitored closely and the Indian Navy is prepared to render all necessary assistance to the local population in Mozambique.
  • Ships of First Training squadron of Indian Navy, Sujata, Sarathi and Shardul, operating in Southern Indian Ocean were diverted to Port Beira in Mozambique based on the request of the Government of Mozambique.
  • The Indian Navy has made HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) assistance a major tool of its foreign cooperation initiative in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) which has a high incidence of natural disasters.

Tropical Cyclones

  • Tropical Cyclones are low pressure systems that form over warm tropical waters and have gale force winds (sustained winds of 63 km/h or greater and gusts in excess of 90 km/h) near the centre.
  • They derive their energy from the warm tropical oceans and do not form unless the sea-surface temperature is above 26.5°C.
  • Once formed, they can persist over lower sea-surface temperatures.
  • Tropical cyclones can persist for many days and may follow quite erratic paths. They usually dissipate over land or colder oceans.
  • The circular eye or centre of a tropical cyclone is an area characterised by light winds and often by clear skies. Eye diameters are typically 40 km but can range from under 10 km to over 100 km.
  • The eye is surrounded by a dense ring of cloud about 16 km high known as the eye wall which marks the belt of strongest winds and heaviest rainfall
  • Tropical Cyclones are dangerous because they produce destructive winds, heavy rainfall with flooding and damaging storm surges that can cause inundation of low-lying coastal areas.

Categories of tropical cyclone:

The severity of a tropical cyclone is described in terms of categories ranging from 1 to 5 related to the zone of maximum winds. Using this severity scale, communities will be able to assess the degree of cyclone threat and take appropriate action. A gale is a strong wind, typically used as a descriptor in nautical contexts.

  • Category 1: Less than 125 km/h Gales - Minimal house damage. Damage to some crops, trees and caravans. Boats may drag moorings.
  • Category 2: 125 - 164 km/h Destructive winds - Minor house damage. Significant damage to signs, trees and caravans. Heavy damage to some crops. Risk of power failure. Small boats may break moorings.
  • Category 3: 165 - 224 km/h Very destructive winds - Some roof and structural damage.
  • Category 4: 225 - 279 km/h Very destructive winds - Significant roofing and structural damage
  • Category 5: More than 280 km/h extremely destructive winds - Extremely dangerous with widespread destruction.
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