Cyclone Yaas is likely to intensify into a “very severe cyclonic storm” and cross the Odisha and West Bengal coasts on May 26, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. A low pressure area formed over the east-central Bay of Bengal and the adjoining north Andaman Sea.


  • Yaas, the cyclonic storm that is expected to hit the coasts of Odisha and West Bengal next week, has been named by Oman. Yaas refers to a tree that has a good fragrance and in English, the word is similar to Jasmine.
  • Cyclone Tauktae, which was named by Myanmar, means “gecko” — a highly vocal lizard — in Burmese dialect.

So, how are the cyclones named?

  • In 2000, a group of nations called WMO/ESCAP (World Meteorological Organisation/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), which comprised Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, decided to start naming cyclones in the region.
  • After each country sent in suggestions, the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC) finalised the list. The list of 169 cyclone names released by IMD in April 2020 were provided by these countries — 13 suggestions from each of the 13 countries.
  • The WMO/ESCAP expanded to include five more countries in 2018 — Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

What are the guidelines to adopt names of cyclones?

While picking names for cyclones, here are some of the rules that countries need to follow. If these guidelines are following, the name is accepted by the panel on tropical cyclones (PTC) that finalises the selection:

  • The proposed name should be neutral to (a) politics and political figures (b) religious believes, (c) cultures and (d) gender
  • Name should be chosen in such a way that it does not hurt the sentiments of any group of population over the globe
  • It should not be very rude and cruel in nature
  • It should be short, easy to pronounce and should not be offensive to any member
  • The maximum length of the name will be eight letters
  • The proposed name should be provided with its pronunciation and voice over
  • The names of tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean will not be repeated. Once used, it will cease to be used again. Thus, the name should be new.


Source – The Hindu

Tags: Current Affairs, Disaster Management, Geography

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