Cyclone Idai is regarded as one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere as a whole. There’s no single cause which results in a cyclone, but it’s a chain of events that finally end’s up as a Cyclone.
A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane ,typhoon tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone.
BELOW ARE STEPS OF HOW A CYCLONE IS FORMED:
- A large warm and still ocean area with temperature above 27ºC formed. Due to this, the air above this area get heated and therefore it rises up.
- The risen air, would make vacancy of air in that region i.e. low pressure area.
- The air around rushes to fill that vacant area.
- The risen air would also carry a great amount moisture, i.e. the water evaporated and turned into vapor is also carried with air.
- This moist air on reaching some height, cools down, condensation happens and clouds are formed.
- The above said processes continues, and eventually the clouds became heavy.
- The resulting condensation would release latent heat, that would provide the cyclone with more energy. (Heat’s the water again)
- The wind that arrives from vast areas to this area of low pressure, would get deflected and eventually twists due to Coriolis effect.
- The cyclone is formed.
Due to the Coriolis effect, the rotation direction of cyclone is clockwise in the southern and anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere. There’s an area in the middle of the these twisting winds, called the eye of cyclone, the pressure there will be extremely low. The more the low-pressure in the eye, more speed the winds around have.
COUNTRIES THAT HAVE BEEN HIT BY CYCLONES.
Cyclones are generally formed in the Tropical region, since these area has sufficient sunlight to heat the water. In the Southern Hemisphere, its death toll is comparable to that of the 1892 Mauritius cyclone, the 1903 French Polynesia cyclone, the 1927 Madagascar cyclone and Cyclone Leon eline in 2000.
CYCLONE IDAI HITS MOZAMBIQUE.
On March 20th 2019 Tropical Cyclone Idai ripped through Mozambique as a high-end Category 2 storm with 175 kph (110 mph) winds last week before moving inland into Zimbabwe and Malawi, affecting 1.5 million people in its wake. Aid agency officials have said that 90% of the Mozambique city of Beira has been “destroyed” by the cyclone, warning that more than 500,000 people there have been impacted.
Whenthe death toll was at 84, President Filipe Nyusi said that “everything indicates that we can have a record of more than 1,000 dead. “If that estimate is confirmed, Idai would be the deadliest tropical cyclone on record to hit anywhere in Africa.
CAN WE PREVENT CYCLONES?
I don’t think there is a technological intervention to carry out prevention of natural calamities. However, it is a responsibility of every concerned individual to partake in activities to minimize the risk or loss of lives. Here are some of the measures that can be taken:
1) TREES – preserve existing trees, plant more on areas around home, regular thinning of branches, pruning to groom the canopy desired, cut loose disintegrated branches, maintain growth.
2)AWARENESS– maintain regular update of weather condition thru broadcast and internet news.
3) PLAN AHEAD– identify possible location of refuge shelter and routes to take to be guided and have easy access to aid kits or survival tools beforehand.
4)UTILITIES – identify power control panels at home, gas piping and control valves, all these to be shut off in event of calamities. Maintain hotline numbers in your phonebook of hospitals, fire department, police, etc.,
5) LIFE SUPPORT TRAINING– at least more than 2 family members should have training in life saving exercises.
Risk reduction and management is imperative for every family/community to upkeep preparedness in any given eventuality that might arise at any time of day.