Even before the scars of cyclone Phailin that resulted in massive devastation in coastal districts are not healed, Met officials in the city do not rule out a second cyclone.
Though cyclones are said to be a common phenomenon in the post-monsoon season between October and December, the fact that Phailin hit the coast even before the withdrawal of south-west monsoon this year has also caused enough doubts in the minds of Met officials.
Despite having the statistics concerning various cyclones formed over the Bay of Bengal in the last 70 years, officials say they do not have any studies to explain the pattern of different cyclones, be its formation, speed or intensity. However, the frequency of the cyclones point out occurrence of two cyclones, one each in October and November in 2008 and 2010.
“We cannot rule out the possibility of a second cyclone. We are keeping a close watch at in-situ formations as well as those which form outside our seas and travel towards us,” said K Seetharam, scientist-E, director, Hyderabad Meteorological Centre according to whom, the year’s monsoon was also peculiar in the sense that it showed rapid advancement and is yet to withdraw.
“It was the longest monsoon period this year and cyclones before withdrawal of monsoon is very rare,” he pointed out. In the past, there have been occurrences of even four cyclones over the Bay of Bengal. In 1916, two cyclones each hit the East Coast in October and November.
Three cyclones hit the coast in November in 1922, 1930, 1946, 1976 and 1992 where as in 1943 and 1967, three cyclones hit the coast in October.
“As of now, we cannot derive any pattern out of their occurrence and frequency as it requires a detailed study. We can only remain alert and develop contingency plans. And if there are any signs, that would still give us enough time to prepare,” he added.
According to officials, the year’s south-west monsoon would withdraw completely by October 24 and then would start the post-monsoon cyclone season. As many as 73 cyclones have hit the state between 1891 to 2012.