Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 13:
Three coastal Odisha districts among 12 east coast districts in the country are very highly prone to cyclones, says a paper, written by Mritunjay Mohapatra, head of the cyclone warning division of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), which has been published in the International Journal of Earth System and Science.
The 12 most cyclone-prone districts include Baleswar, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagjitsinghpur in Odisha, Nellore, East Godavari and Krishna in Andhra Pradesh, Yanam in Puducherry, and South and 24 North Pargana, Medinipur, and Kolkata in West Bengal.
Besides, 41 districts in the country are highly prone to cyclones while 13 coastal states and Union Territories are affected by tropical cyclones of which Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on the east coast, and Gujarat on the west coast are more vulnerable to the tropical cyclones, the paper said.
The study also focused on 96 districts of which 72 touch the Indian coast and 24 are close to the coast.
Of the 96 districts, 30 districts are moderately prone, and 13 are less prone to cyclones.
The paper, which analysed the cyclone patterns in the country from 1891 to 2010, said the very high prone districts were hit by the maximum number of cyclones.
While Medinipur district in West Bengal has witnessed 22 cyclones of which 10 were severe in nature, Baleswar district in Odisha has recorded 28 cyclones of which five were severe.
The study also pointed out that storm surge was one of the biggest killers during cyclones. Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides.
According to Mohapatra, Baleswar, Medinipur and 24 North Pargana have recorded the highest storm surge which was around 30 meters.
“The entire coastline is affected by the tropical cyclones with varying frequency and the intensity. Although, the North Indian Ocean (the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea) generates only 7 percent of the tropical cyclones in the world, their impact is high and devastating, especially when they strike the coasts bordering the North Bay of Bengal, he added.