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Time for IMD to tune in with global practices: Parl Panel

Time for IMD to tune in with global practices: Parl Panel
New Delhi: Stressing the need for India Meteorological Department (IMD) to focus on intensive research to develop forecasting models for more accurate prediction of the 'Rapid Intensification' phenomenon like Cyclone Ockhi, a Parliamentary committee has recommended that the IMD should learn from the best practices being followed globally to improve prediction of such phenomenon.
The Parliament standing committee of Home Affairs headed by P Chidambaram had submitted its report in the recently concluded Budget session of the Parliament. The committee was looking into the impact of cyclone Ockhi which struck the coast of Tamil Nadu ,Kerala, Puducheerry and Lakhswadeep in Nevember-December last year. The committee observed that "the devastating impact of Ockhi exposed not only the country's ability to put in place a credible system of advanced warning but also comprehensive disaster mitigation preparedness."
In it's deposition before the committee Indian Meterological Department (IMD) said that cyclone Ockhi was an unusual phenememnon, which was evident in its rapid intensification. But the committee did not agree with the IMD fully and commented that rapid intensification of cyclones was no longer a rare phenomenon and globally several countries had evolved credible prediction models for this phenomenon.
The committee is of the opinion that the prediction of cyclones is imperative, to bolster out existing capacity for advance warning. The committee strongly recommends that IMD should focus on intensive research to develop forecasting models for the prediction of the rapid intensification phenomenon.
They also advised that IMD must learn from the best practises being followed globally to improve prediction and if necessary research should be undertaken to predict such cyclones in collaboration with international practices.
A member of the committee raised the issue that the state Government of Kerala had stated that there was no communication from the IMD regarding the cyclone and hence the warnings could not be communicated to the fisherman. The deep depression after crossing over southern Sri Lanka, usually intensified into a cyclone during a span of 12-24 hours from 29th November morning over Comorin sea.
The cyclone specific advisory was issued on 30th Novenmer at almost midnight . But IMD admitted in the deposition before committee that the cyclone watch or alert could not be issued due to rapid intensification over Comorin sea.
According to officiasls it was quite different as compared to other cases of cyclone intensification that usually occurs over the central part of the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian sea.
Gautam Lahiri

Gautam Lahiri

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