Tuesday, May 26, 2009

After Aila, cyclone in North Indian Ocean will be called Phyan

The next cyclone to hit countries in the north Indian Ocean region will be called Phyan. The one which hit West Bengal and Bangladesh was called Aila. Aila was name given by Maldives while Phyan is a name given by Myanmar.The practice of naming cyclones began years ago in order to help in the quick identification of storms in warning messages because names are presumed to be far easier to remember than numbers and technical terms.
Cyclones derive their names through a systematic procedure laid out by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Met officials in fact have decided the names of cyclones till 2009-end. Eight north Indian Ocean countries - Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand - have prepared a list of 64 names. When a cyclone hits these countries, the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC), housed in the IMD office in New Delhi picks up the name next on the list. The RSMC has been set up in Delhi by the WMO for forecasting tropical cyclones in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. Since 2004, the eight countries have faced 19 cyclones. The countries take turns in naming the cyclones. The last six were: Sidr (named by Oman), Nargis (Pakistan), Rashmi (Sri Lanka), Khai-Muk (Thailand), Nisha (Bangladesh) and Bijli (India).
All these countries meet once in two years and review the progress of cyclones and how many cyclones there were. Every country reports its assessment of the cyclones and then they arrive at a mutual plan of action, which includes creation of a database for the names to be given to tropical cyclones.