A major cyclone packing ferocious winds and threatening a destructive storm made landfall in Gujarat on Monday evening, disrupting the country's response to its devastating Covid-19 outbreak. (AFP)
A major cyclone packing ferocious winds and threatening a destructive storm made landfall in Gujarat on Monday evening, disrupting the country's response to its devastating Covid-19 outbreak. (AFP)

Explained: How Cyclone Tauktae got its name and what it means

A panel comprising 13 countries, including India, names cyclones in the region. In 2020, a new list was released that had 169 names of cyclones, having 13 suggested names each from 13 countries. As Tauktae makes a landfall in Gujarat, find out what the name means and what the next cyclone in the region be called.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Avik Roy, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 17, 2021 10:21 PM IST

Cyclone Tauktae (pronounced as Tau’Te) that intensified into an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ made a landfall on Gujarat coast late on Monday evening with windspeed between 150kmph and 160kmph, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said, leaving a trail of destruction behind.

The centre of the cyclone will cross Saurashtra coast, 30km to the east of Diu within next three hours, as the landfall process continues, the latest data shared by the IMD on Twitter showed.

CLICK HERE FOR LATEST UPDATES ON CYCLONE TAUKTAE

Meanwhile, Gujarat government has shifted over 1.5 lakh people to safety and has mobilised disaster response teams.

While the country watches the progress of the cyclone with bated breath, the Internet is in splits over the peculiar name, Tauktae.

What is a tropical cyclone?

A tropical cyclone is an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans and is characterised by low atmospheric pressure, strong winds followed by heavy rainfall. Tropical cyclones always have an eye, a central region of clear skies and warm temperatures.

Also Watch | Cyclone Tauktae weakens after landfall in Gujarat; leaves trail of destruction


How did 2021’s first storm in India get its name?

The cyclone has been given the name ‘Tauktae’ (pronounced Tau’Te) by Myanmar. It means 'gecko', a highly vocal lizard, in Burmese dialect.

How are cyclones across the globe named?

The World Meteorological Organisation and UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UN ESCAP) led Panel on Tropical Cyclones – a global body which also includes regional specialised meteorological centres (RSMC) as well as tropical cyclone warning centres -- prepares the names of the cyclones.

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) is among six RSMCs in the world, is mandated to issue advisories and name tropical cyclones in the north Indian Ocean region.

Which countries name the cyclones?

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.

Why are the cyclones named?

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 an unique idenitfier to these cyclones and makes it easier for the media and various authorities to disseminate information on them.

What will be the next cyclone 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 'Yaas', a name given by Oman, while the one after that will be called 'Gulab' as recommended by Pakistan. 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.

Till Monday evening, the gusty winds and heavy showers from the impact of the cyclonic storm lashed Mumbai and its neighbouring areas, leading to disruption of train services in the city.

The cyclone has left a trail of death and destruction in parts of Kerala and Goa, too, as it passed along the western coast of the country over the Arabian Sea.

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