Cyclone Nivar, which is brewing in the Bay of Bengal, is moving towards the southern states and Union territory (UT) of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Expected to make landfall on Wednesday, Nivar is likely to cause heavy rainfall in these places.
However, it is not the first major cyclone which will have hit a state this year or in the last 12 months. Here are some major cyclones to have occurred in India since 2019:
1. Cyclone Amphan: India’s first major cyclone of 2020, Super Cyclonic Storm Amphan caused major damage in West Bengal, as well in the neighbouring country of Bangladesh. Odisha, another eastern state, was also hit by Amphan though it was spared the sort of damage that the cyclone caused in West Bengal. Formed on May 16, Amphan dissipated on May 21, leaving widespread destruction in its trail, claiming over 100 lives, most of which were from West Bengal.
2. Cyclone Nisarga: Severe Cyclonic Storm Nisarga struck the Indian subcontinent within just two weeks of Amphan, most severely affecting India’s financial hub of Maharashtra, where all fatalities due to the cyclone-six-took place. The state of Gujarat and the UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (DNHDD) were also put on high alert though both escaped Nisarga’s wrath. Formed on June 1 and dissipated on June 4, Nisarga was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike Maharashtra since June 1891.
3. Cyclone Fani: Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Fani caused major damage in Odisha, being the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the state since 1999. Though Fani also affected other states like West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, as well as neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, it was Odisha that bore its brunt. Fani, which formed on April 26 April 2019 and dissipated on May 5, claimed 89 lives in all. Odisha was praised by the United Nations for its handling of the crisis.
4. Cyclone Bulbul: Another cyclone which affected both West Bengal and Bangladesh, Bulbul was a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm. A tropical cyclone, Bulbul began forming on November 5, 2019 and dissipated on November 11 and claimed a total of 41 lives. Only the second to make it to category 3 hurricane strength, with the first instance being in 1960, Bulbul also affected neighbouring countries like Myanmar and Thailand, besides Bangladesh.
5. Cyclone Vayu: Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Vayu was a strong tropical cyclone which claimed a total of eight lives in June 2019. Vayu was the strongest cyclone to hit Gujarat’s Saurashtra region since 1998. It formed on June 10, 2019 and dissipated on June 17. Vayu, which was named by India after the Sanskrit and Hindi word ‘vayu’ or wind, impacted more than 6.6 million people in the northwestern parts of the country.
6. Cyclone Maha: Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Maha mainly affected the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Kerala. Maha began as a depression, further intensifying to become Cyclonic Storm, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm and, finally, Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm. Formed on October 30, 2019, Maha dissipated on November 7.