How was the cyclone before Rimal?

The people of this country, especially the coastal population, are not new to the damage and loss of life caused by cyclones. This great power’s prowess has taken many lives, destroyed many houses, and arranged families. Field crops have drowned, and pond fish have floated. Not even the carefully nurtured animals escaped. Even then, the pulse of life did not stop.

The indomitable Bengali who woke up after the flood raised a new house on the new ground. With chest pressure, Shoktap plowed the crop field. Collective effort covered the collapsed dams. Brave Bengalis will survive against the oncoming Rimal; this is the hope and prayer of every person in the country today.

Cyclone Rimal is approaching the coast. Wind speed is increasing from 90 to 120 km per hour. At noon, meteorologist Abdur Rahman of the Meteorological Department told Prothom Alo that the cyclone was located 380 km south-west of Chittagong seaport in the Bay of Bengal, 340 km south-west of Cox’s Bazar seaport, 295 km south of Payra port in Patuakhali, and 265 km south of Mongla in Bagerhat.

According to the Meteorological Department’s forecast, due to the speed with which the cyclone is approaching, it may cross the Khepupara coast near Mongla sea port and move towards West Bengal. The sea is angry. Gusty winds are blowing in coastal areas. It started raining.

Ilshegundi rain has fallen here and there in the capital. There is a light breeze. It lessens the intensity of the scorching heat and brings a sense of relief to public life. However, the rim on the coast has raised concern. The Meteorological Department has requested that distress signal number 10 be displayed at Payra and Mongla seaports, as well as Satkhira, Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Jhalkathi, Barguna, Barisal, Bhola, and Patuakhali. The Meteorological Department has requested the Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong seaports, Feni, Comilla, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Chandpur island, and Char areas to display distress signal number 9, with the exception of the river ports in the Khulna region, which will display distress signal number 4.

The weather forecast predicted high tides of 8 to 10 feet above normal tides in coastal areas.

Rimal is named after Oman. Meteorologist Abdur Rahman said, “rimal” is an Arabic word. In Oman, sandstorms are referred to as ‘rimal’. This name is from there. The history of cyclone naming, however, is much older. Generally, major cyclones are named in advance to facilitate the identification and storage of information about them.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) oversees nomenclature. The English alphabetical naming of North Atlantic and Northwest Pacific cyclones began in 1975. Three years later, they introduced the custom of listing cyclone names in advance. Since 2002, the WMO, through its regional offices, has consulted with the meteorological offices of the countries concerned to decide on the names of the cyclones in those countries. In our region, the first cyclone to receive a name occurred in 2004. We named the cyclone in the Arabian Sea ‘Anil’.

Sidor was the most severe cyclone to hit the country. Oman also gave this cyclone its name. There is a type of tree called cedar. On November 15, 2007, this very strong cyclone hit the coast. Two years later, on May 25, 2009, another very strong cyclone ‘Aila’ hit. The name is given by Malaysia. In Ayala, the wind speed was 223 kmph. In addition to Sidor-Isla, several major hurricanes have hit our coast. Among them ‘Mahasen’ hit on 16 May 2013, ‘Komen’ on 30 July 2015, ‘Roanu’ on 21 May 2016, ‘Mora’ on 31 May 2017, ‘Ampan’ on 13 May 2020.

Cyclone Rimal is approaching the coast. Wind speed is increasing from 90 to 120 km per hour. Coastal areas may experience high tides 8 to 10 feet above normal.

Among the very strong cyclones that hit the coastal areas of the country before the introduction of cyclone naming, the cyclone that hit Sitakunda on 19 May 1997 had the highest wind speed. Its maximum speed was 232 km per hour as per meteorological department records. The cyclone that hit Chittagong on April 29, 1991 had the second highest speed of 225 km. The cyclone that hit Chittagong on November 12, 1970 had the third highest speed, 224 km.

Apart from this, the speed of the cyclone that hit Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf on March 2, 1994 was 220 km. Next year, on May 12, 1995, a cyclone hit Cox’s Bazar with a speed of 210 km and in 1963, a cyclone hit the district with a speed of 209 km.

Cyclones are natural phenomena. It cannot be prevented. But man with his unique indomitable vitality, overcomes all disasters and adversities and continues the foundation of life.