Cyclone Lehar

 
Published: Wednesday 27 November 2013

 

The very severe cyclonic storm lost its intensity by Thursday morning
Author: M Suchitra
Lehar, a very severe cyclonic storm that formed over west-central Bay of Bengal, weakened into a deep depression and crossed the Andhra Pradesh coast close to Machillipatnam at 4 pm Thursday. The cyclonic storm was initially predicted to be a very severe storm that would cause extensive damage. But by Wednesday evening, the storm started weakening and by Thursday morning it became a deep depression. When the depression crossed the coast, it had a wind speed of 50-60 km/hr gusting to 70 km/hr. The initial prediction was that the maximum surface wind speed could be as high as 170-180 km/hr, gusting up to 200 km/hr.
 
Speed of the winds during landfall will be 70-80 km/hr as against 200 km/hr predicted earlier
Author: M Suchitra
Cyclone Lehar, which is expected to strike the Andhra coast close to Machillipatnam on Thursday afternoon, lost it’s very severe intensity on Wednesday night. According to the India Meteorological Department, it will make a landfall as a normal cyclone. Speed of the winds during the landfall will be 70-80 km/hr, gusting up to 90 km/hr. The cyclone was predicted to be a devastating one with high wind speeds that could reach up to 200 km/hr at the time of landfall with waves surging more than 2 to 3 metre. Since the storm has lost its intensity, the waves will swell about one metre high.
 
People in coastal areas who faced the fury of Phailin start stocking up food provisions
Author: Ashis Senapati
After facing the fury of Phailin a month ago, news of impending arrival of yet another cyclone has triggered panic among people in Odisha. Though the Lehar cyclonic storm is expected to be less intense, neither the government nor the people of the state want to leave things to chance. The cyclone is expected to make a landfall on Thursday around noon. The authorities have swung into action and have initiated necessary preparatory measures to counter the storm in 10 districts.
 
Has frequency and intensity of cyclones developing over Bay of Bengal increased?
Author: M Suchitra
Three very severe cyclones over the Bay of Bengal within a span of two months–Phailin, Helen and now Lehar–has led to a general feeling that the frequency and the intensity of the cyclones in the Bay of Bengal are on the rise. But is that really so? M R Ramesh Kumar, chief scientist with Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR) of Physical Oceanography Division of National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in Goa, says that is not the case. ““I would rather say that 2013 was different in that we had three very severe cyclones one after the other. But with observations for just this year, we cannot say that the frequency or intensity of cyclones forming over the Bay of Bengal is increasing.”
 
Cyclone wind speed may reach up to 200 km/hr on Thursday at time of landfall; heavy rains predicted from Wednesday evening
Author: M Suchitra
The very severe cyclone, Lehar, was moving towards the Andhra Pradesh coast at a speed of 15 km/hr on Tuesday. By the time it hits Andhra Pradesh coast, the cyclonic winds would gathered speed According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) cyclone warning issued on Wednesday morning, the storm is located 700 km east-southeast of Machillipatnam, 640 km east-southeast of Kakinada and 620 km southeast of Kalinapatnam. The storm will further intensify and is likely to make a landfall close to Machillipatnam in Krishna district around noon on Thursday. It was initially expected to make the landfall near Kakinada in East Godavari district.
 
More than one cyclone in the same season is not unusual for the state
Author: M Suchitra
Andhra Pradesh is extremely vulnerable to cyclones, storm surges and floods. The state risks being battered by cyclones of moderate to severe intensity every two to three years. Since the 1975, the state had faced more than 60 cyclones. Some of them moderate and a few of them very severe (see box). In the past 40 years, there may not be a single year in which the state did not experience either a storm, a cyclone or heavy rains and floods.
 
Phailin, Helen, Haiyan, Lehar and the rest get their names from a list specific to their region
Author: Vani Manocha
We all must have often wondered from where cyclones, typhoons or tropical storms get their names. Here is a brief insight into why and how cyclones are named. The practice of naming tropical storms began years ago with the motive to help in quick and error-free identification of cyclones in warning messages and to make it easier for media, which otherwise had to use numbers for longitudes and latitudes and other technical terms. Many also agree that the use of names also heightens interest in warnings and increases community preparedness.
 
It was unprecedented government preparedness that saved thousands of lives in
Author: Alok Gupta, Ashis Senapati, Raghuram Puvvada, Jyotsna Singh, Richard Mahapatra
On the night of October 12, when cyclone Phailin crashed into Odisha, Basanti Jena of Boitalupatana village in Jajpur district relived the super cyclone of 1999 that had battered the state and killed about 10,000 people. The following morning, when she emerged from her house, she sighed with relief: no one in her village had died. Like Jena, the entire country had feared the worst. Phailin, with winds of more than 200 kilometres per hour, was the second fierce cyclone to hit India in 14 years. But it killed only a few–22 by the state government’s reckoning.
 
 
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