Written by Agastya Sharma, a grade 8 student (junior editor at I Kid You Not)
India’s coasts are often prone to cyclones, and such was the case only a week or two ago when a cyclone by the name of Tauktae hit the western coast. And I’m here to tell you all about it.
The JWTC (The Joint Typhoon Warning Center) issued a warning about a low-pressure area southwest of India. It kept growing as it moved eastwards, towards India’s southern coast. The next day, it developed enough to form a deep depression. Depression is an area of low pressure and winds.
Later, the depression slowly became a cyclonic storm, and was named Tauktae. It continued developing until it got classified as a Severe Cyclonic Storm, and later a Category 1 cyclone.
It continued its movement north until it paralleled the west coast of India. And amid favorable conditions for cyclonic growth (temperature and wind speed), it grew until its classification became Category 2. And then later Category 3. You get the idea. It grew really fast.
On May 17, Tauktae hit peak force, with wind speeds up to 190 kmph (sustained for three-minute intervals), and 220 kmph (sustained for one-minute intervals), making it a Category 4 cyclone. Although, luckily, it only weakened from then, by initiating an eyewall replacement cycle. Essentially, an eyewall replacement cycle is a process of the winds moving outwards, robbing the eye (the center of the storm) of the required moisture, waning the strength of the cyclone.
What did the storm do?
The storm caused a lot of damage to important places like Mumbai during its course. Nearly 20 people have died and more have been severely injured, in Maharashtra. Two barges with over 100 people each went adrift off the coast, and rescue efforts are being made.
In terms of economical damage, the cyclone’s harm is estimated to be near 15,000 crore rupees, nearly 2.1 billion US dollars. Property damage estimates the destruction of over 16,000 houses, and the death count has been put up at over a hundred.
This storm has been only the second cyclone in the classification of extremely severe in nearly 25 years, the last one occurring in 1998. Tauktae had the highest death toll of any cyclone since 2010 that hit the Arabian Sea.
All we can hope for now is to persevere through this storm (pun intended) and weather it out (pun intended again) and come out on the other side happy as can be.
And that’s all from me today! Stay safe!
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