Another year, another strike of nature on mankind and civilisation. Ockhi could have been any other natural calamity; only thing is that it was not natural. In the past few years, human civilisation has experienced frequent cyclones and hurricanes, their patterns becoming more and more unpredictable.
In meteorology, a cyclone is a large scale air mass that creates around a strong centre of low atmospheric pressure. Cyclones are characterised by inward spiralling winds that rotate about a zone of low pressure. (source: Wikipedia)
Ockhi was one of the most severe and strongest cyclonic storms of the decade. The origin of Ockhi has been traced back to the Gulf of Thailand as a low pressure area. It experienced favourable conditions on its route to Sri Lanka where it earned mass destruction as a deep depression.
From Sri Lanka, Ockhi travelled towards the southern region of mainland India from which it changed its course towards Lakshadweep islands. Immense devastation to life and property occurred in the places which were hit by the cyclone. The death toll is increasing every second-hour while the hopes of finding the missing people are diminishing fast, especially for the deep-sea fishermen of coastal Tamil Nadu and Kerala who have not returned home for days.
We reap what we sow. The catastrophic consequences of Ockhi that have befallen upon mankind could have been prevented if we knew how to control our selfish desires. Despite being known as the most civilised among the living beings, our actions contrast the same. Cyclones are supposed to slow down near the coastal regions. Instead, Ockhi changed the course upon hitting the coastal regions of Bay of Bengal and became more furious.
The voice of dissatisfaction against the coastal guards, navy and the government is getting louder each passing day. First of all, adequate help is not being provided to victims. The rescue mission has been limited to only 60-100 nautical miles, which is not even half the distance that deep-sea fishermen cover. The Navy and Coast Guard are being blamed for not taking the advice and expertise of the other deep-sea fishermen and instead are showing lackadaisical attitude towards the rescue mission. The wireless communication facilities are not adequate once the rescue teams cross 25-35 nautical miles. The government is failing them to provide proper satellite communication.
There is a deep sense of resentment towards the Indian government. It has become almost a ritual of the government that whenever the country has been hit by any kind of natural calamity, the representatives visit the affected people and address to their sufferings but do they actually relate to them? No.
What is more revoking is the fact that although global warming is a phenomenon caused by all nations, its negative effects are suffered by only certain nationalities or communities. Socio-economically, their conditions have worsened over time. Despite the help being provided by international communities like United Nations, Red Cross Society, people cannot stop contemplating about how long will this help be provided, when will these brunt of nature end and how. The climatic equilibrium of the world is swinging like a pendulum without a set direction. Ockhi is just another reminder to the world that what we as human beings are up to, in the name of development, will certainly lead to doomsday.