The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) for Africa and Asia, a 45-nation international organization on disaster warning, has termed ‘Titli’, the severe cyclonic storm that devastated Odisha in October, as ‘rarest cyclone’.
More than 200 years of cyclone track history in the Odisha coast reveals that the Titli cyclone is the rarest of rare in terms of its characteristics such as recurvature after landfall and retaining its destructive potential after landfall and recurvature away from the coastal areas for more than two days.
Earlier, India Meteorological Department had called the formation of Titli as a ‘rarest of rare’ occurrence. The severe cyclone had changed its path after landfall.
The Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA)faced challenges in anticipating and managing Titli’s impact due to lack of impact-based actionable early warning information and prior experience not only in India but also elsewhere. The OSDMA, by learning the lessons from Titli cyclone, could evolve measures to minimize impacts in both coastal and non-coastal regions more effectively in future.
The RIMES has recommended that a detailed risk assessment has to be carried out for Odisha to understand the risks in the light of the Titli devastation.
RIMES is an inter-governmental body registered under the United Nations. It is being owned and managed by 45 collaborating countries in the Asia Pacific and Africa Region. The programming unit of the agency is located in Thailand. At present, India is chairing RIMES.
RIMES evolved from the efforts of countries in Africa and Asia, in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, to establish a regional early warning system within a multi-hazard framework for the generation and communication of early warning information and capacity building for preparedness and response to trans-boundary hazards.