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Cyclone Nisarga: Here is how the storm was named and what it means

In India, the IMD names the cyclones that develop over the North Indian Ocean, including the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

June 04, 2020 / 03:02 PM IST

Nearly two weeks after Cyclone Amphan wreaked havoc in West Bengal, the country is bracing for another one.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said Cyclone Nisarga is likely to make landfall off the coast of Mumbai on June 3 and that the city is expected to receive heavy rainfall tomorrow.

Ever wondered how cyclones are named, and who named this one?

Nisarga was a name given by Bangladesh in a list, which has been formulated by a group of countries. The word ‘Nisarga’ means nature.

Cyclone Fani, which had caused severe destruction in Odisha last year, was also named by Bangladesh.


In 2000, the World Meteorological Organisation and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, in its 27th session, agreed on a formula to assign names to tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.

It was decided to name cyclones to help the scientific community identify them, and effectively create awareness and disseminate warnings to wider masses.

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The group of countries on the panel included Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand. In 2018, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Yemen were also added to the panel.

Six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) and five Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) across the world are tasked with naming cyclones.

In India, the IMD names the cyclones that develop over the North Indian Ocean, including the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

The Met department had released a list of cyclone names in April. The list had 160 names, which included Arnab, Nisarga, Aag, Vyom, Azar, Prabhanjan, Tej, Gati, Lulu. It also had names from the previous list which were left unused; which is how Amphan was named.

According to IMD, the names should be gender, politics, religion and culture agnostic. They should not hurt the sentiments of any community, nor be offensive. The names should be short and easy to pronounce.

The next few cyclones will reportedly be named Gati (India), Nivar (Iran), Burevi (Maldives), Tauktae (Myanmar) and Yaas (Oman).

Cyclone Nisarga

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first published: Jun 2, 2020 08:01 pm
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