UAE and India to develop early warning system for cyclones and tsunamis

Deal also covers integration of radar network and exchange satellite information

People search among the wreckage of a boat destroyed by Cyclone Mekunu in Socotra Island, Yemen, May 25, 2018. Picture taken May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
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The UAE and India have agreed to develop an early warning system for cyclones, tsunamis and sand storms.

Under the agreement, the two countries will also integrate radar networks and exchange of satellite information.

Cyclones that develop in the Indian Ocean can cause great destruction when they hit Oman's coast but have also previously been costly for the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The deal was signed on Sunday by the National Centre of Meteorology and the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences during an online meeting. It also covers sharing seismic network information, early warning of dust storms and exchanging of expertise in scientific innovation, research and training.

Abdulla Al Mandous, director of the NCM, praised the deal and said the foreign ministries of the UAE and India welcomed "this great step".

Monikumar Ramakrishnan, international affairs specialist at the NCM, said the agreement would improve disaster management.

"[It] will enhance the skills of tropical cyclone forecasting," he said.

"It will provide more information on how they form, how they change and when storms make landfall."

Topical cyclones are reasonably common in the Arabian Peninsula and have troubled the coastlines for centuries.

One of the deadliest recorded cyclones in recent years, Gonu, struck Oman in 2007 and killed about 80 people, including 10 passengers who went missing after a boat sank in Fujairah port.

Several other powerful storms have since hit, including Cyclone Mekunu in 2018 that killed more than 30 people in Oman.

These storms do not usually directly hit the UAE but can lead to surges, chiefly on the country's east coast.

Cyclone Kyarr in 2019 was the strongest in the Arabian Sea since the Category 5 Gonu ravaged the coast in 2007. Storm waters inundated towns on the UAE's east coast towns and even forced the closure of some schools.

The NCM and the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences will now advance the project and a pilot project is expected to begin in the next few months. 
Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons, meanwhile, are all tropical storms but are named differently depending on their location.

Hurricanes form over the North Atlantic and north-east Pacific; typhoons over the north-west Pacific; and cyclones over the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

Cyclones only form over warm waters near the equator. When warm moist air from the ocean rises, cooler air rushes in to replace it which then also warms and rises.

This cycle creates huge storm clouds, which in turn start to rotate and become a cyclone.

Cyclone Kharr hits the UAE - in pictures