Cyclone Asani first one of 2022, 19th in last 3 years

The severe cyclonic storm, Asani that lies centred over west-central and adjoining south Bay of Bengal about 920kms northwest of Car Nicobar island and 500kms southeast of Vishakhapatnam, is the first cyclone to form this year.

“Cyclone Asani is the first cyclonic storm over North Indian Ocean during this calendar year,” Rahul M, scientist, India meteorological department Panaji said.

The severe cyclonic storm moved nearly west-northwards touching speeds of 25km per hour on Monday after it intensified from a low pressure area a couple of days back.

It is likely to weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm during the next 48 hours. Since it is far away, over the Bay of Bengal, the impact on the the state’s weather will not be severe.

It is a relief for the people of the region as Cyclone Tauktae during the pre-monsoon period of May 2021 had wreaked havoc in the state.

It was one of the deadliest cyclones to hit the Gujarat coast and had a disastrous impact on Goa as it triggeredextremely heavy rainfall and unprecedented flooding in some parts of the state causing huge losses.

“This cyclone which had formed in Arabian Sea had speeded up the onset of monsoon over Kerala and itsfurther progress,” M R Ramesh Kumar, a reputed meteorologist and chief scientist (retired) national institute of oceanography, Dona Paula said.

River Galgibaga had even changed course due to erosion of a sand bar close to the beach that allowed the river to flow directly to the sea instead of a diversion.

The intensity and frequency of cyclones has increased during the last few years due to warming up of sea surface temperatures. In the past three years 18 cyclones have occurred, eight in 2019 and five each in 2020 and 2021.

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