Explained: Where did cyclone Yaas get its name from? Know more about the storm
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in its latest bulletin on Tuesday said the storm that formed over the Bay of Bengal, 'Yaas', intensified into a “very severe cyclonic storm” and is likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar islands early on Wednesday.
The IMD said at 9pm on Tuesday that 'Yaas' was located about 160km east-southeast of Paradip and 250km south-southeast of Balasore.
In a weather alert, IMD director general Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said that the impact of the cyclone will be severe for six hours before and after the landfall and Chandbali in Odisha will bear the maximum brunt of the storm.
Even as authorities of both West Bengal and Odisha are pressed in action on war footing to mitigate the impact of the storm on lives, the Internet is abuzz with chatter over the peculiar name of the cyclone, especially days after another cyclone with a strange name, Tauktae (pronounced Tau'Te), battered the west coast of the country and left a trail of death and destruction.
How did 'Yaas' get its name:
'Yaas' (pronounced as Yass) got its name from Oman. The word has its origin in the Persian language and means the flower jasmine in English.
Why do cyclones have names?
The cyclones are named to identify the storms to send out warning notifications about their development. As the technical names could be difficult for the common people to remember and spread awareness on, naming them gives a unique identifier to these cyclones and makes it easier for the media and various authorities to disseminate information on them. If the speed of a cyclone is more than 34 nautical miles per hour then a panel gives it a special name.
Who names them?
The panel comprising 13 countries, including India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Maldives, Oman, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, name cyclones in the region. In 2020, a new list of names was released that had 169 names of cyclones, having 13 suggested names each from 13 countries.
Is there a criterion behind the names?
The Indian Meteorological Department names the cyclonic storms rising in the north Indian Ocean when their forecast says that the depression has intensified into cyclonic storms with three-minute sustained wind speeds of at least 63kmph. The names are selected keeping in mind that they are gender, religion, culture, and politically neutral; they should not be offensive, or hurt anyone’s sentiments; they ought to be short and easy to pronounce; and the maximum length of the name should be eight letters.
What will the next cyclone be called?
The list of 13 names prepared by each of the 13 nations are out in public domain. The next cyclone in the region will be called 'Gulab', as recommended by Pakistan, while the one after it will be ‘Shaheen’, as named by Qatar. At present the first list is in use. Once the names in the first list are exhausted, the second list of the names in the table will be used, and so on.
How severe will 'Yaas' be?
In West Bengal, the wind speed in Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly will reach between 70kmph and 80kmph gusting to 90kmph on May 26. The coastal areas bordering north and south 24 Parganas will experience 90kmph to 100kmph wind speed, gusting to 120 kmph. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said the impact of 'Yaas' could be more than cyclone Amphan that battered the state last year.
Meanwhile, the storm surge in the sea and rivers triggered by ‘Yaas’, which coincides with the perigean spring tide of Wednesday’s full moon, would inflict the maximum damage this time, IMD officials have warned.