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Waves of Destruction….

The fiery nature calmed down spelling destruction with the recent Earthquakes. Hardly people have come out from the doom and here strikes again the ‘Cyclone’ threat to Gujarat in May 2001.


The Killer Storm with its giant waves hit the Coastal regions of Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan in June 98) with a speed of 120-150 kmph, made a havoc with a high death toll, destruction and damage. 70 kmph cyclonic winds hit Mumbai and eastern parts of Pakistan too was gripped with the dreaded Cyclonic storm. Cyclone is normally a term applied to winds rotating around low pressure regions. Cyclone is more loosely applied for a storm and disturbance, particularly Hurricane and Typhoon which centre on areas of usually low pressures. They usually occur after a hot season in an unstable but horizontally uniform air mass. Hurricanes consist of high velocity of winds that blow circularly around a low pressure centre in the sea known as eye of the storm. The low pressure centre develops when the warm saturated air prevalent in the doldrums is underrun and forced upon by dense cooler air. Atmospheric pressure drops sharply and wind velocity rises. The strength of such Cyclonic Hurricane is rated from 1 to 5; the mildest category 1 has the winds of at least 120 kmph (74mph) and the strongest and rarest category 5 has winds that exceed 250 kmph (155mph). Within the eye of the storm, average 24 kms diameter, the winds stop and clouds lift off but the seas remain violent. The air causes a clockwise (anti clockwise in northern Hemisphere) air spiral which gushes towards high level regions. Rainfall too, can be heavy with heavy seas in coastal areas e.g. Bay of Bengal. This causes havoc, loss of life, uprooting trees, electric poles, buildings as the Cyclone sweeps its way and panic grips for survival. Extreme spiralling of winds is termed as Tornado which has speed upto 450 kmph ( 250 mph) funnel shaped, moving 100 metres wide and usually short lived. The system for tracking the Cyclonic Hurricane was developed in mid 1950. Due to improved systems of Radar, satellites and so on, predictions and communication have been able to minimize loss of life but property damage is heavy in coastal regions. The strongest ever Hurricane to hit western Hemisphere in 20th Century was ‘Gilbert’ that devastated Jamaica and parts of Mexico in 1988 with winds that gusted up to 350 kmph.


TWISTS IN THE WINDS – Happennings!
On May 29, 1986, 12 school children in West China were sucked up by a Tornado. It put them down again on some sand dunes 20 kms away – completely unharmed!

An Average 708 Tornadoes strike United States. In April 1974, 148 Tornadoes savaged 13 states in just 24 hours!

A Policeman helped a driver of a vehicle who had been a victim of a tornado. He noticed a kitten in the back seat of the car who was not a passenger before the Tornado. The owner of the kitten came to the spot after a few minutes and claimed his pet.

More than 940 Villages of Kutch, Porbandar and Jamnagar Districts suffered a after effects of the Cyclonic storm with damages mounting to Rs.225 crores and more.


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