India faced 117 cyclones from 1970 to 2019, over 40,000 lives lost: study
A total of 7,063 extreme weather events killed 1,41,308 people during the period in the country, including 40,358 (or 28%) from cyclones and 65,130 (just over 46%) from flooding, according to study.
The research paper released earlier this year was written by Mr. Rajeevan, secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, along with scientists Kamaljit Ray, SS Ray, RK Giri and AP Dimri.
Kamaljit Ray is the main author of the article.
Earlier this month, the west coast witnessed the fury of Cyclone Tauktae that struck the coast of Gujarat like an extremely severe cyclonic storm, leaving a trail of destruction in several states killing nearly 50 people.
Currently, the eastern part of the country is facing a “very severe cyclonic storm” Yaas which hit the Odisha and West Bengal coasts on Wednesday before sinking deeper into the country.
The study indicates that the number of cyclone fatalities has declined dramatically over the past two decades, the last few years of which have seen a dramatic improvement in IMD’s weather forecasting capabilities.
In 1971, according to the study, four tropical cyclones developed in the Bay of Bengal in a period of about six weeks – from late September to the first week of November.
Of these, the most destructive hit the Odisha coast in the early morning hours of October 30, 1971 and caused very serious damage to life and property, according to the study.
Around 10,000 people are believed to have lost their lives and more than a million have been left homeless, he added.
In 1977, two tropical cyclones developed on the Bay of Bengal from November 9 to 20, including the second (Cyclone Chirala) which was a very severe tropical cyclone with a wind speed of around 200 kilometers per hour accompanied of tides. waves 5 meters high hit the coast of Andhra Pradesh, according to the study.
Estimated mortalities were around 10,000 and total damage to infrastructure and crops exceeded US $ 25 million.
The decade 1970-1980 alone recorded more than 20,000 deaths due to cyclones.
“Overall, the analysis showed that the mortality rate associated with tropical cyclones had decreased by almost 88% over the last decade (2010-2019) compared to the previous decade (2000-2009) despite the significant upward trend of severe tropical cyclones during the post-monsoon season over the Bay of Bengal, ”the newspaper says.
India’s meteorological department director-general Mrutunjay Mohapatra said the reasons for the deaths during the cyclones had changed over the years with the improvement in the forecasting capabilities of the IMD.
Previously, storm surges were the main reason for fatalities, but now fatalities are mostly caused by a collapsed tree or house now, he said.
Storms produce strong winds that push water toward the shores, which can lead to flooding. This makes storm surges very dangerous for coastal areas.
But over a period of time, the forecast as well as the response to these events has changed dramatically, he said, adding that people are now being evacuated from low-lying areas with advance warnings.
Cyclones also cause thunderstorms, lightning and heavy rains that are also fatal, he said.