In keeping with the bizarre trend of naming children after natural calamities, a Gujarat woman has decided to name her one-month-old daughter ‘Biparjoy’ after the cyclone approaching the western coast.
The family is now in a shelter house in Jakhau in Kutch district. They are among thousands evacuated to safer locations as Gujarat braces for the cyclone’s landfall.
The little one, born exactly a month back, will now join the league of children named after cyclones; her older friends from the eastern coast are called Titli, Fani and Gulab after cyclones.
In this case, however, she may not be amused upon learning that the name literally means disaster. This name was given by Bangladesh and adopted by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) countries in 2020.
The WMO has laid down guidelines for naming of cyclones in each tropical cyclone basin. According to its website, tropical cyclones can last for a week or more, meaning multiple cyclones can strike together. “Weather forecasters give each tropical cyclone a name to avoid confusion,” the WMO website states.
Nations in the Northern Indian ocean began using a new system for naming tropical cyclones in 2000; the names are listed alphabetically country wise, and are neutral gender wise. The common rule is that the name list is proposed by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of WMO Members of a specific region, and approved by the respective tropical cyclone regional bodies at their annual/biennual sessions,” it adds.
“The practice of naming tropical cyclones began years ago in order to help in the quick identification of storms in warning messages because names are presumed to be far easier to remember than numbers and technical terms. Many agree that appending names to storms makes it easier for the media to report on tropical cyclones, heightens interest in warnings and increases community preparedness,” the WMO states