The Cyclone Yaas was named by Oman. The word Yaas originated from the Persian language, which means Jasmin in English. Over the North Andaman Sea, a low-pressure area formed and adjoined the east-central Bay of Bengal around May 22, 2021, and later intensified into a severe cyclonic storm named Cyclone Yaas. Typically, tropical cyclones in the region of the North Indian Ocean, i.e. Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, are developed during the pre-monsoon seasons, i.e. between April to June, and post-monsoon season, i.e. October to December.
May-June and October-November periods are known for cyclones of severe intensity that affect the Indian coasts. Cyclone Yaas lashed coastal areas with strong wind and rain as it made landfall in India, damaging homes and bringing waves that swamped towns. More than one million people were evacuated within the country as the storm approached.
Cyclone Yaas approached when India was battling a deadly second wave of Covid-19 infections, and healthcare systems were already overworked.
Classification of Cyclone Yaas
- Cyclone Yaas was classified as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS).
- Cyclones are classified by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) based on the maximum sustained surface wind speed (MSW) they generate.
- The cyclones are classified as severe with MSW of 48-63 knots, very severe with MSW of 64-89 knots, extremely severe with MSW of 90-119 knots, and super cyclonic storms with MSW of 120 knots or more.
Areas affected by Cyclone Yaas
Cyclone Yaas affected the bordering regions of Odisha and West Bengal and later weakened into a cyclonic storm and left behind a trail of destruction on the eastern coast.
Preparations made for Cyclones Yaas
- About 46 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were deployed for relief and rescue operations. They were deployed in various coastal Indian states and Union Territories, including West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry.
- The Indian armed forces were put on alert, and several aircraft and warships were set on standby for relief and rescue operations.
- IMD issued a warning for wind, rainfall, and high tides to all the areas expected to be affected by the Cyclone Yaas.
- Fishers were advised not to travel into the southeast Bay of Bengal and the South Andaman Sea from May 21 onwards.
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What are Tropical Cyclones?
- A tropical cyclone is an intense circular storm originating over warm tropical oceans characterised by low atmospheric pressure, heavy rain, and high winds.
- This type of storm is called “hurricanes" in the eastern Pacific and North Atlantic regions, “typhoons' in China and Southeast Asia, “tropical cyclones" in the Indian Ocean and southwest Pacific region and “Willy-willies' in northwestern Australia.
The naming of Tropical Cyclones -
According to World Meteorological Organization (WMO) guidelines, countries in every region should give names for cyclones.
The North Indian Ocean Region covers tropical cyclones formed over the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.
The 13 members, which come under the North Indian Ocean region, are India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Oman, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Yemen.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is one of the six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres (RSMC) globally. It is mandated to issue advisories and name tropical cyclones in the north Indian Ocean Region.
FAQs on Cyclone Yaas
Q.1. What caused the Cyclone Yaas?
Ans. A low-pressure area formed over the North Andaman Sea. It adjoined the east-central Bay of Bengal around May 22, 2021, and later intensified into a severe cyclonic storm named Cyclone Yaas.
Q.2. Which is the type of Cyclone Yaas?
Ans. Cyclone Yaas was classified as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS).
Q.3. What does Yaas mean in the Cyclone Yaas?
Ans. The Cyclone Yaas was named by Oman. The word Yaas originated from the Persian language, which means Jasmin in English.
Q.4. When did the Cyclone Yaas make a landfall?
Ans. Cyclone Yaas made landfall on May 26, 2021.
Q.5. Where did the Cyclone Yaas make landfall?
Ans. Cyclone Yaas made landfall north of Dhamara and south of Balasore, near Bhitarkanika National Park.