You must Sign In to post a response.
  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Why such terrible question comes to my mind?

    I was born and brought up in the southern-most part of Calcutta (now Kolkata), which is very near to the Bay of Bengal. As a result, cyclone, cyclonic storm and rain have been known to me since my childhood. I still remember the cyclone and subsequent heavy rain in 1978. That was the only time I saw boats on the roads of Calcutta.

    However, the system of naming cyclones and hurricanes has been new to me. Most probably Hurricane Katrina which reached the USA in August, 2005 was the first one which was named. I may not be correct in this regard, but that was the first time I heard the name of a hurricane. After Hurricane Katrina, I heard about Hurricane Wilma, Hurricane Ophelia, Hurricane Iselle, Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Philippe, etc. So far as cyclones are concerned, I have faced Cyclone Aila, Cyclone Laila, Cyclone Nilofar, Cyclone Phailin, etc.

    But since morning, my convoluted mind has started asking question. Why are the cyclones and hurricanes named after ladies? Is it proper? Why would the names of women be associated with such natural disaster?

    I think this is highly unfair. Before we receive objections from the women's lib proponents, we must develop a system of naming such natural disaster both in the names of men and women. A cyclone/hurricane may be named after male and the next one to be named after female.

    This is my proposal. I want to have the opinion of other Members in this regard.
  • #617805
    I was near Visakhapatnam in 1978. I still remember the havoc created by that cyclone those days. Till my 31st year I was living near the see and I experienced many cyclones at that time. Some are very big and some are very mild. Those days everybody use to call it cyclone only. No naming of theses cyclones. But recently only this practice of naming the cyclones is started. Again the author brought unnoticed fact into the limelight. I agree with your thought that why only female names to these destructive events. I don't know whether it is intentional or any reason? I feel generally the names of ladies will have a good attraction where is the names of males be not so attractive. That is why the naming after female names is being followed by the officers. We all can make a petition that naming with only one gender name is not acceptable to us. They should name some cyclones with the names of males also. Then the authorities may respond positively. Trying is not a waste. Let us make an attempt.
    always confident

  • #617819
    Your thinking is superb Mr. Partha and is not at all a terrible question. You are very observant hence such questions.

    Not only female names but unisex names and at times male names are also used to name natural calamities. Hurricane Harvey is an example. There are men named as Harvey. A character in Batman movies have that name. But there are girls who are named as Harvey. So it is upto us whether we consider it to be the name of a male or female.

    Hurricane Dennis, Noel, Bob or Tomas sounds to be a male name to me. But of course I agree with the author because the most familiar names to me are those of females. Like Katrina, Rita and so on.

    I also agree on the part that the names are not equally distributed gender wise. Most of the natural calamities might be named after women even though there are certain ones named after men. When we call earth, Mother earth and gives feminine description to water bodies, why not to a natural calamity. Natural resources mostly is considered to be feminine hence natural calamities too.

    "Do not give up, things might not favour you always"

  • #617837
    Good thoughtful thinking from the author connecting to the present situation of cyclonic effect in Tamil Nadu and Kerala coast. Why the names of women are being kept to call the hurricanes and cyclones because, they can be well remembered and recalled when women names are kept. Normally women are considered to be furious and wont stop until and unless they mend the ways of persons. Likewise even Hurricanes and cyclones occur due to more and more sins committed by the people of that area and thus to make them realise the government wants to have the names of women in hurricanes and cyclones so that wrong doers repent and learn the lesson.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #617839
    Must applaud your thinking out of the box attitude, Mr.Partha. When we hear hurricanes we would think of the severity or effect etc, you are thinking why the names? I just learn't now from google. There are a few blogs about it, the most popular one is as follows. The first few hurricanes were named after Saints,then the military alphabet code was followed (C-Charlie). This gave way to name selection by the National Hurricane Center. The first female name was Maria (1941, after the lead character in a novel). During II world war, military observers used female names for hurricanes, not sure why.The men's names were used from 1978 onward. The world meteorological organisation has 6 lists of names that are in constant rotation and repeated once every 6 years.

    Lastly if the hurricane creates major damage then the name is retired, because it would be insensitive for some. So, Hurricane Katrina is retired!

  • #617843
    What you said - that only female names are given is not true.
    There was a cyclone 'Vardha' last year, which had landfall in Tamil Nadu. Vardha is an Arabic word meaning 'Rose'. The current cyclone in Arabian Sea which moved from southern end influencing TN, Kerala and Lakshadweep is named "Ockhi" name given by Bangladesh meaning 'eye'. The next cyclone if it comes will be called "Sagar' meaning Ocean, named by India.
    So it is clear that not all,names of cyclones are female names.
    (Fo r the list of names of Cyclones over the North Indian Ocean you may visit the web site of India Meteorological Department, or URL:

    The names you mentioned are mostly of the Pacific or Atlantic. Female names were only used earlier. Now that is also changed. Both male names and female names are used.

    The first few names in the list of names for 2017 for Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone are:
    Adrian Beatriz Calvin Dora Eugene Fernanda Greg Hilary Irwin Jova Kenneth Lidi ; The male and female names are alternating.

  • #617850
    Mr. Venkiteswaran: Excellent observation. However, Ockhi is a Bengali (Sanskrit) word. Ockhi or Ankhi is a girl's name in both parts of Bengal. Similarly, don't we associate 'rose' (Vardha) with woman/women?
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • Sign In to post your comments