Posts Tagged ‘Bay of Bengal’

Phailin came and Phailin went: Alarmists and Warmists disappointed

October 13, 2013

Cyclone Phaelin came and it has now gone.

The Greens around the world are somewhat disappointed that many thousands have not died.

It was a very severe cyclone when it hit (windspeed 200km/h) but it did not reach the classification as a Super Cyclone (>220km/h windspeed).

It was a massive evacuation and that itself was somethiing of an achievement. More than 600,000 (and maybe as many as 1 million) moved or were moved out of harms way. 7 are known to have died in cyclone related events (falling trees in the main). Damage reports have yet to be assessed. Some fishermen are known to be stranded. The military is mobilised and stands ready for rescue and rehabilitation.

The Indian Meteorological community got it about right. But there were those who predicted that it would not only be a Super Cyclone at 220km/h but would be a Super Dooper Cyclone with winds up to 315km/h.

The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Friday said Phailin is now expected to break the Indian Ocean intensity record set by the 1999 Cyclone in which at least 9,000 people were killed in Odisha.

Alarmists started criticising the preparations and the evacuations and suggested it would be worse than 1999 where at least 15,000 (unofficially 45,000) died. The Global Warmists at Huffington Post almost seemed to want the loss of life to be as high as possible so that they could blame Global warming (but note that they manage to blame any untoward weather event on Global Warming)

India should rename this meaningless obfuscation and call attention to global warming immediately. .. The anthropogenic global warming caused by accumulation of greenhouse gases is making the oceans warmer, which in turn is causing more frequent and more intense cyclones/hurricanes and floods.

Needless to say the Environ-Mentalists at Greenpeace were also hoping for a major disaster

Intense and destructive storms are likely to occur more frequently as global warming intensifies, Greenpeace said Saturday. “Such intense and destructive storms are likely to become more frequent in the future as global warming intensifies.  India member Biswajit Mohanty. According to the organisation, cyclone Phailin which is expected to hit the coastal areas of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh is likely to be the strongest such to affect India in 14 years, since the 1999 Odisha cyclone.

The Green Brigade conveniently forget that a Super Cyclone is generated in the Bay of Bengal every 10-20 years. It is a natural phenomenon known for at least the last 200 years. The super Cyclone of 1970 killed over 500,000 people. And the lessons learned since 1999, the major evacuation and the other preparations made seem to have achieved their objective and minimised the loss of life.

It was a severe storm and has surely caused some significant damage. But it is something which happens regularly and not anything unprecedented. It was not a Super Cyclone.

And it was nowhere near the major disaster that Alarmists, Greenpeace, Global Warmists and Environ-Mentalists were hoping for.

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Cyclone Phailin will test Indian preparedness

October 12, 2013

UPDATE!

Saturday 12th, 6:30pm Indian Standard Time: Landfall is expected at any time now. So far some 600,000 people have been evacuated or have moved out of harms way. It has been the largest evacuation in India for 23 years.

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The Bay of Bengal is no stranger to severe weather and severe cyclonic storms occur almost annually. However super cyclones (corresponding to an Atlantic Category 5 Hurricane) occur every 10 -20 years. Fatalities (direct and indirect by subsequent disease) have been huge in this heavily populated area. Super cyclones are defined as having wind speeds in excess of 220km/h and the current Cyclone Phailin is on the edge of that level with winds currently at about 210km/h. The Indian Meteorological Depratment expects the wind speeds to stay at the 210-220 km/h level.

ToI: Foreign agencies claimed Indian authorities are underestimating Phailin, quoting London-based Tropical Storm and US Navy’s joint typhoon warning centre as forecasting winds up to 315 kmph. Indian agencies, however, said wind speeds are much lower.

Super or Severe Cyclone Phailin is expected to make landfall this evening (about 6pm local time Saturday 12th October) somewhere along the Odisha coast. Warnings have been issued and about 200,000 have been asked to evacuate their coastal homes. Relief personnel and police are on alert. The Army has been deployed in some areas. Some 200 tourists have been assisted to leave the area and tourist bookings have been cancelled for upto a week.

Large improvements in the early warning and relief infrastructure have taken place since the catastrophic death toll in the super cyclone of November 1970. But Cyclone Phailin could be the biggest test for Indian preparedness since 1999.

Major super cyclones the region have been:

The projected path of Tropical Cyclone Phailin towards India as of 11:30 a.m. ET on Oct. 10, 2013.

Yahoo News: Experts say that the enormous and powerful storm, with maximum sustained winds of more than 160 mph (260 km/h), will bring a “catastrophic” storm surge, the water that a storm’s winds push in front of it and that inundate a coastline as the storm makes landfall, said Hal Needham, a climatologist at Louisiana State University. The storm surge is expected to reach heights of 20 feet (6 meters), Needham told LiveScience. The storm is likely to be “as bad or worse” than a cyclone that followed a similar trajectory in 1999, called Odisha cyclone for the area it hit.

Times of India: Touching wind speeds of 210-220 km an hour, Cyclone Phailin is set to hit the Odisha coast between Paradip and Kalingapatnam with full fury on Saturday evening, whipping up a storm surge up to 10 feet above the tide level posing a threat to low-lying villages.

Anticipating the cyclone’s fury, the state government began Odisha’s biggest ever evacuation of shifting more than three lakh (300,000) people out of harm’s way as chief minister Naveen Patnaik promised there would be zero casualties. The evacuation is expected to be complete by Saturday morning.

Met sources said the cyclone’s exact landfall is likely to be around the popular beach destination of Gopalpur and coastal Odisha as well as inland areas are expected to receive heavy rainfall likely to last till Sunday.

Although the Met is not categorizing Phailin as a “super cyclone” as it is yet to cross the 220 kmph barrier, there is little doubt that Odisha was bracing for a battering with the storm reported just 400 km south east of Gopalpur at 9pm on Friday. ….

….. Ganjam district is likely to be worst-hit. Other coastal districts falling within 75 km radius of the eye of the storm would also be impacted. “The exact landfall destination of the cyclone can be known once it comes nearly 200 km from the coast. Phailin’s movement however indicates that the situation would not be like the 1999 super cyclone during which the storm lay stationery over the coastal areas for nearly 24 hours and caused a sea surge of about 30 ft. This time 10 ft high wave is expected. More so, the expected landfall area being hilly, the impact of the cyclone would be less and weaken quickly,” IMD Bhubaneswar centre director Sarat Sahu said.

Not leaving anything to chance, the state government began evacuating people from coastal districts of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapada. Those who refused to leave their homes were forcibly taken to safer places. “There are 247 cyclone shelters and 10,000 concrete schools identified to house the villagers. We want to complete the evacuation by Saturday morning, particularly in Ganjam district which is likely to bear the brunt of the cyclone,” special relief commissioner P K Mohapatra said.

The central government has dispatched 10 helicopters, four Cheetah helicopters and two MI-17 and AN-32 planes to help the state government in rescue and relief operations. The government’s measures notwithstanding, thousands of people from the coastal region were rushing to railway stations and bus stops to escape the cyclone.


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