Cyclone Tauktae on 16 May 2021 intensified into a "very severe cyclonic storm" over East central Arabian Sea, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. It is very likely to intensify further during the next 12 hours, and reach the coast of Gujarat on 17 May 2021. As a precautionary measure, rescue teams have been deployed in six states -- Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Goa -- which would likely be in the direct line of threat of the cyclone.

How is a Cyclone named?

  1. Cyclone Tauktae's (pronounced Tau'Te) name originates from a Burmese word which translates to gecko -- a "highly vocal lizard". The cyclone was named by neighbouring country Myanmar.
  2. Cyclones are officially named by one of the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) warning centres based across the globe.
  3. The WMO/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC) includes 13 countries -- India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Maldives, Oman, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
  4. In 2004, the group, which comprised eight countries then, had finalised a list of 64 nameseight names from each country.
  5. Amphan, the cyclone that hit India last year in May, was the last name on that list.
  6. Nisarga, another cyclone that originated in the Arabian Sea last year, was the first name from the fresh list. It was named by Bangladesh.
  7. In 2018, the WMO/ESCAP expanded the list to include five more countries. Last year, a new list was released that has 169 names of cyclones, a compilation of 13 suggestions each from 13 countries.