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Know How International Media Is Tracking Cyclone ‘Fani’


02 May 2019

Upasana Sarangi


Bhubaneswar: Cyclone Fani which is currently moving in the Bay of Bengal, is claimed to be the strongest April cyclone in 43 years. An April cyclone being a rare phenomena, has been getting ample amount of coverage from the international media as well.

Here’s what international media has to say about it.

BBC has been in contact with Meteorological centre in Odisha and has mentioned that, “HR Biswas, director of the meteorological centre in Orissa's state capital, Bhubaneshwar, said at least 11 districts would be hit - and that they have ‘suggested people stay indoors’.”

The channel has also mentioned about the situation in context to the on-going elections by stating that, “India's electoral commission has relaxed its rules about what the government can do during election periods so that the authorities can carry out relief work. The country is in the middle of a multi-phased election which started last month. Under normal circumstances the incumbent government has certain powers suspended, so that it can't announce new schemes or take new decisions during the voting period.”

Al Jazeera has also presented a ground report where it states that, “This makes it equivalent to a category three Atlantic hurricane and it is expected to strengthen further in the warm waters of the Bay of Bengal. Waters across the cyclone's path are between 30 to 31 degrees Celsius, which is about a degree above average for the time of year.”

Along with the detailed weather coverage about how the cyclone is going to approach the targeted areas, The Washington Post also claims that, “While called a cyclone, Fani is no different from hurricanes that strike the coastline of the United States.”

The report also tries to inform people about the expected damage by stating that, “Tens of thousands of people from the Mahanadi River Delta to Kalibhanja Diha Island live less than 10 feet above sea level. A surge close to that high could be disastrous for dozens of impoverished rural communities, inundating homes and businesses.” In addition to that, the report also discusses about how the cyclone is likely to affect the Odisha state economy.

CNN has been consistently tracking the nature of the cyclone and the weather surrounding it. The weather forecast bulletin puts forward information that, “The temperature of the water in Bay of Bengal is warm which is why the storm turning explosive and is picking up its speed. By the time it reaches the shore, the speed would rather reduce. When the storm makes landfall, it is likely to turn more powerful and pick up speed to move faster towards Kolkata. There will be wind damage, surge and flooding as it will move towards north.”

Bangladesh, which is also expected to bear damage from this cyclone, has been extensively covered by the Dhaka Tribune. It mentions that, “The storm may hit Bangladesh on Saturday morning after crossing Odisha in India, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman told journalists after an inter-ministerial meeting at the Secretariat in Dhaka on Wednesday. The storm would later ford through districts of Bangladesh and could affect Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Patuakhali, Barguna, Chittagong, and Cox's Bazar areas on Saturday.”

While the coverage as of now has been quite distinctive, it has to be seen along the course of 2-3 days if the same quality of reportage continues at an international level. The landfall is likely to occur tomorrow afternoon following which the rehabilitation procedures would begin. It has to be seen if it gets the same media importance further.