Cyclone Ockhi

Cyclone Ockhi. Weird Cyclone that bought havoc to shores of Kanyakumari and Trivandrum.

Cyclones have been my interest since Thane wrecked the shores of Cuddalore 6 years ago. I still remember reading the newspaper about a depression formed on the shore of Andaman expecting to cross the shore near Cuddalore a week later. Thane intensified from a depression into “Very Severe Cyclonic Storm” on IMD’s scale and crossed the shores with a wind speed of 180 Kmph recorded at Neyveli Lignite Mines. It bought a complete devastation in the district. Thousands of trees were uprooted and light posts brought to the ground, it took an entire year to recover from the disaster even for Neyveli, a closed township maintained by NLC India Ltd. with its big resources.

History Of Ockhi:

It was a week before this post when IMD posted its bulletin forecasting a low-pressure area near Sri Lanka that was expected to intensify further into a depression. The low pressure formed near Sri Lanka on 28th November which became well marked a day later. 5 hours after IMD’s announcement of the low pressure becoming well marked, the system further intensified into a depression and crossed the shores of Sri Lanka. On 30th November, the system further intensified into Deep Depression and move towards the shore of Kanyakumari. Within hours after being classified as a Deep Depression, the system further intensified into a Cyclonic Storm around 60 km from Kanyakumari and was named as Ockhi. Further moved North Westwards and intensified into Severe Cyclonic Storm bracing Kanyakumari and Trivandrum, the system moved towards Lakshwadweep Islands.



Damage Caused By The System:

The system brought heavy rains and winds speeds up to 60kms on southern districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Severe damage was seen to plantations of Banyan in southern districts of Tamil Nadu, with flooding in many places due to the heavy rains. Hundreds of fisherman who ventured into the sea before the announcement of Cyclone went missing. Some of the fishermen was rescued by the Coast Guard and the Navy but still, many fishermen is still missing during the time of writing this post.

Ockhi Cyclone Rescue Operation By Indian Navy
At the time of this disaster, some concerns rose in my mind. A single day of rain filled most of the rivers in the district and many Ponds in the area broke its banks and flooded the region nearby. Who is to blame? Yes, there is unchecked development in Chennai. But is the development in Kanyakumari sustained? As in Chennai, most of the farming lands are converted into factories. There have been reports of illegal sand quarry in the river of Thamirabarani with the banks of the river being narrowed at many places due to unplanned development. A part of Vaigai river was converted into parking in the town of Madurai. Desilting has not been carried out in the region for many years.


Some of these factors have amplified the effect of the cyclone by a thousand times. Nature is something that we cannot control. Something that we cannot take into our own hands. If we don’t respect the nature and control the way we develop our cities and towns taking in account of the impact it would have on our environment, damages caused by the disasters like these would amplify further.

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