Tamil Nadu

Tropical cyclone gets Tamil name

Murasu was suggested as it denoted the percussion instrument used for disseminating information during the ancient period. | File

Murasu was suggested as it denoted the percussion instrument used for disseminating information during the ancient period. | File   | Photo Credit: C. Ratheesh Kumar

For the first time since 2004, a tropical cyclone over the north Indian ocean would have a Tamil name, Murasu, meaning an ancient musical instrument, a type of drum. It is one of the names listed for tropical cyclones over the north Indian ocean prepared by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) panel.

With the first list of names suggested for tropical cyclones being used, except for Amphan suggested by Thailand, a fresh list of names has been prepared by the WMO panel for identifying cyclones developing over the north Indian ocean, including in Arabian Sea.

The new list has names suggested by five new member countries — Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen and the U.A.E. The list has 169 names, including 13 names each suggested by 13 member countries. In India, the regional meteorological centres suggest names and those provided by the public were included.

S. Balachandran, Deputy Director General of the Meteorology, Chennai, said “We suggested names related to ocean, fish and coastal areas and those pertaining to information. Murasu was suggested as it denoted the percussion instrument used for disseminating information during the ancient period. We learnt that it was even used to inform people about natural disasters.”

Thirukai, referring to a fish variety in Tamil, was also one of the names suggested. But, it did not make it to the list.

Some of the other names suggested by India include Neer, Aag, Tej, Gati and Prabhanjan. The new names would be given to cyclones once the names in the first list are completely used, he added. The list was finalised based on a meeting of the WMO panel in September last year. The names of the tropical cyclones would not be repeated.

The naming convention was started in September 2004 to identify and remember each cyclone and disseminate warning to a wider audience. A total of 64 names were suggested by eight member countries, including Maldives and Pakistan then starting with Onil (Bangladesh).

The criteria of the naming convention include short, eight-lettered names and neutral to political, cultural and religious beliefs, Mr. Balachandran added.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:10:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tropical-cyclone-gets-tamil-name/article31458012.ece

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