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Sundarbans is cyclone capital of India: IMD

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  • Published
    31st Jan, 2022


West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district, within which the larger share of the Sundarbans is located, is impacted by cyclones the most frequently among Indian districts, found a recent study.


About Sundarbans

  • The Sunderbans forest sprawls over 10,000 sq km covering India and neighbouring Bangladesh, of which 40% lies in India.
  • It is located in the south-west of Bangladesh between the river Baleswar in the East and the Harinbanga in the West, adjoining to the Bay of Bengal.
    • In India, it is confined to the southern tip of West Bengal and spreads over two districts – South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas.
  • The Sundarban Delta has 102 islands, of which 54 are inhabited. The rest constitute the world’s largest mangrove forest.
  • Sundarbans has got the world’s largest coastal mangrove forest (an area of about 10,000 km2, shared between India (4,000 km2) and Bangladesh (6,000 km2).
  • The Sundarbans is a UNESCO world heritage site and a critical wetland. 

The reduced forest cover

  • The State of Forest Report 2021 revealed that the very dense mangrove cover in the Sunderbans shrank by two square kilometres – from 996 sq km to 994 sq km - between 2019 and 2021.
  • The delta had a dense mangrove cover of 999 sq km in 2017, which declined by 3 sq km in 2019.
    • The southern Bengal delta was hit by two very severe cyclones – Amphan in May 2020 and Yaas in May 2021 – which took a toll on the vegetation. Nearly one-third of the delta was severely damaged during Amphan.

Tropical Cyclone

  • A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system.
  • It is characterized by a low-pressure centre, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain or squalls. 
  • The Indian continent is considered to be the worst cyclone-affected part of the world.
    • About 8% of the land is vulnerable to cyclones of which coastal areas experience two or three tropical cyclones in a year.
  • Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone.
    • Hurricane: Atlantic Ocean
    • Typhoon: North-western Pacific Ocean
    • Tropical cyclones: South Pacific or the Indian Ocean

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