CYCLONE REMAL (Syllabus: GS Paper 1/3 – Geography/Disaster Management)

News-CRUX-10     25th May 2024        

Context: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an alert for a severe cyclonic storm, Cyclone Remal, expected to affect the coastal areas of West Bengal and Bangladesh.

Cyclone Remal

  • Naming: The name 'Remal' in the list of tropical cyclones is given by Oman.

o It will be the first cyclone to hit the region this 2024 pre-monsoon season.

  • Meaning: 'Remal,' meaning 'sand' in Arabic.
  • Origin: Bay of Bengal (BoB).
  • Factors Contributing to the Formation: A depression has formed over the central Bay of Bengal, serving as the genesis for Cyclone Remal.

o The Bay of Bengal experiences water temperatures 2–3°C warmer than average, providing the energy needed for cyclones to form and intensify.

o The Madden Julian Oscillation, along with warm ocean waters, is currently moving south of the Bay of Bengal, playing a role in initiating cyclones due to their rotational effect.

  • Potential Impact:

o The cyclone may impact the Sundarbans region if the landfall happens on the Indian coast and coincides with high tide, potentially causing partial damage to the fragile ecosystem.

o The shallow bathymetry and the funnel-shaped geography of the northern Bay of Bengal can amplify the intensity of the cyclone as it approaches the coast, increasing the risk of storm surges and flooding.

Bay of Bengal

  • About: It is the biggest bay in the world, covering more than 2,172,000 square kilometres.
  • Geographical Location: This part of the Indian Ocean is in the northeast. India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka are all on its edges.
  • Biodiversity Hotspot: It is home to the very rare Olive Ridley turtle and the Sundarbans, which is the world’s biggest mangrove forest.