Huge surge in cyclone events on Western coast in recent years

by Joseph K. Clark

Singh, in his reply, also said that there has been a significant rise in the global average temperature, which is expected to cause more such disastrous weather events. The central government has told the Parliament that highly damaging tropical cyclones have increased in the Arabian Sea region in the last few years. The government statement comes in the wake of the coastal states like Maharashtra, Kerala, Gujarat, and Karnataka facing multiple tropical cyclones this year, including the Tauktae hurricane that took a heavy toll on lives and property. Significantly, the government also said that storms on the country’s East coast have remained the same as before, the Indian Express reported.

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Minister of Science and Technology Jitendra Singh spoke in the Parliament, replying to various questions asked by different MPs. In another significant statement, Singh said that there has been a surge in extreme weather events in recent decades in other parts of the country. Singh said that an analysis of the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal regions throughout 1891–2020 revealed that the Arabian Sea or the country’s Western coast is experiencing more tropical cyclones than before.

In his reply to the question asked by MPs Subrat Pathak (BJP) and Chandra Sekhar Sahu (BJD) about the number of deaths in recent tropical cyclones in the country, the minister said that the highest death toll was registered in the Tautkae hurricane early this year with a total of 118 deaths registered. The second-highest number of casualties were reported in the Amphan cyclone in 2020, with 98 deaths. He further revealed that the number of deaths recorded in Cycline Titli(2018) and Cyclone Nilam(2012) was 78 and 75, respectively.

Quoting from the Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) analysis report over the last 50 years (1970 2019), Singh said that the frequency of extreme weather events, including highly damaging tropical cyclones, has increased. The minister revealed the information in reply to the question raised by BJP MP Ranjanben Dhananjay Bhatt. Bhatt wanted to know if the rising temperature was fuelling more such weather events. Singh, in his reply, also said that there has been a significant rise in the global average temperature, which is expected to cause more such disastrous weather events.

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