How did cyclone ‘Mandous’ get its name? Is the name Indian?


Cyclone Mandous is ravaging Tamil Nadu, Puducherry especially the areas around Chennai. Due to the incessant rains, a flood-like situation has arisen in Chennai and surrounding areas. On December 10, 2022, Cyclone Mandous is expected to make landfall, bringing more rain. Government is working day and night to evacuate more and more people to safer places, mainly those living near the coast.

You must be thinking that the name Mandous does not sound like an Indian name, then how did the cyclone get its name ?

A group of nations have been designated for the purpose of naming cyclones that develop near a particular region, cyclones that develop in the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Persian Gulf and Malacca Straits are named by the WMO/ESCAP (World Meteorological Organisation/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific panel).

Cyclone Mandous was named by the United Arab Emirates. It is not necessary for a country to name only those cyclones which are likely to affect it. As per rules, a group of countries suggest a list of names for all upcoming cyclones that will develop in the region. The naming order is followed by the list. The Arabic name Mandous means “treasure trove” in English.

The India Meteorological Department, New Delhi, India, serves as a Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) for the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea, Malacca Straits and Persian Gulf region. It is designated for naming cyclones that form in the region. RSMC’s come under the World Metrological Organisation.

In 2018, WMO/ESCAP was expanded to include many other countries like Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. These nations contributed 13 recommendations for cyclone names from each of the 13 countries to the list of 169 cyclone names that IMD announced in April 2020. The order will be followed until all 169 names will be used.

Why naming is necessary, why not just call it a cyclone?

Primarily for easier dissemination of warning messages for those likely to be affected. Giving cyclone a name helps bringing a synergy in efforts to evacuate and rehabilitate people. Also there is a possibility that two cyclones are hitting a country simultaneously, in that case naming will help in coordination.

What rules apply to choosing names for cyclones?

Countries need to abide by specific standards when naming cyclones. These rules must be followed or the name is removed from the list.

  • The suggested name should be unaffected by politics. The name can not be any indicative of any religion, political personalities, cultures, and gender. The name must not be offensive to any country.
  • It should not be particularly crude and dehumanizing. The name shouldn’t indicate just how much havoc it can bring.
  • It should be brief, simple to say, and not have any objectionable language.
  • The name can have a maximum of eight letters.
  • The suggested name should be offered with voice over instructions and pronunciation.
  • A name used once can not be repeated.

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