All Current Affairs
News of the Day : 01-April-2019
- May 1, 2019
- Posted by: Shivam
- Category: NEWS Worth To Read
News of the Day
Fani is India’s strongest April cyclone in 43 years, say meteorologists
Cyclonic storm Fani, which is lying about 600 km east of Vishakapatnam and 800 km south of Puri, is the first severe, cyclonic storm to have formed in April in India’s oceanic neighbourhood since 1976, according to records from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
While severe cyclones (defined as generating maximum windspeeds of 89-117 kmph) can form any time, they tend to be concentrated in November — after the monsoon — or around May, when the monsoon prepares to arrive in Kerala in June.
The head of IMD told The Hindu that such quirks were a consequence of global warming. “This is a cyclone that’s forming due to the warming of the Bay of Bengal basin…with global warming we have to be prepared for such occurrences and take precaution accordingly,” said K.J. Ramesh, Director-General, IMD. He said that Fani, so far, was unlikely to have an impact on the advent of the monsoon.
From 1965-2017, the Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea have collectively registered 46 ‘severe cyclonic storms.’ As many as 28 of them were from October-December. Seven of them have been in May and only two — in 1966 and 1976 — were recorded in April, data from the IMD’s cyclone-statistics unit shows.
Tropical cyclones in the Indian neighbourhood begin as ‘depressions’ or a gradual build-up of warm air and pockets of low pressure. About 35% of such formations intensify to ‘cyclones’ and only 7% intensify to ‘very severe cyclones’. About 20-30 severe tropical storms occur around the world every year.
The IMD ranks cyclones on a 5-point scale with the mildest at 62-88 kmph and the strongest, a ‘super cyclonic storm’, at 221 kmph). Cyclone Fani is expected to graduate to an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ by Wednesday and make landfall in Orissa (as a very severe cyclonic storm) by May 4, according to an evening forecast by the IMD on Tuesday.
“It is very likely to move northwestwards till May 1 evening and thereafter re-curve north-northeastwards and reach Odisha Coast by May 3 afternoon with maximum sustained wind of speed 170-180 gusting to 200 kmph,” the IMD statement notes.
Meteorologists also point to Fani’s protracted gestation. The storm had been building up since April 25 and is expected to make landfall, according to current models, only by May 3. “Nearly 10 days is an extremely long period,” said Mr. Ramesh. On an average tropical cyclones form and make landfall in less than a week.
Satheesh Shenoi, Director, INCOIS (Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services), a research unit responsible for tracking the oceans, said that Fani’s slow progress — it is now moving at 11-18 kmph — was also a matter of worry as the longer it hovered in the ocean, the more moisture and energy it gained from the ocean and the stronger its impact along the coast. “For now, models suggest that waves as high as 6.3 m are possible in the ocean under the influence of the storm,” he told The Hindu.
Heavy rains are expected in north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha and light rains in West Bengal under the influence of the cyclone. Strong winds are expected in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra. Fishermen have been advised to stay away from the sea.
Two dead, four injured in shooting at University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Two people were killed and four others wounded, three critically, in a shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, officials said.
Police said one suspect, who some local media reported was a student at the school, was taken into custody following the rampage on the last day of classes for the academic year. Final exams were scheduled for next week.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokeswoman Sandy D’Elosua said the individual who was arrested was believed to have acted alone. Television station WBTV in Charlotte reported that gunfire erupted about 5:45 p.m. (21:45 GMT) on Tuesday near the university’s Kennedy Hall administrative building, and that one person had been arrested.
“We are in shock to learn of an active shooter situation on the campus of UNC Charlotte. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives, those injured, the entire UNCC community and the courageous first responders who sprang into action to help others,” Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said on Twitter.
Susan Harden, a professor of education on campus since 2011 who also serves on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners, expressed disbelief at the gun violence. “This is a day at the end of the semester, when students are doing performances, presentations … this is just the worst thing, said Harden said at the police staging area. Our campus is so safe. So safe. I have never felt unsafe on our campus. I’m heartbroken. I have got a student whose barricaded in her dorm right now.”
Mecklenburg Emergency Management Services, an independent agency that handles emergency services for the county, confirmed on Twitter that two people were dead on the scene and that four others were taken to a hospital, two of them with life-threatening injuries.
A spokesman, Lester Oliva, also confirmed the casualty toll.
“Absolutely heartbroken to learn of the two deaths at UNC-Charlotte. Details still unfolding, but prayers with those receiving medical care right now, U.S. Representative Mark Walker, a Republican from North Carolina,” said on Twitter.
WSOC-TV reported that the shooter was a student at the University. The suspect was not immediately identified by police, who set up a media staging area near the school.
“Run, Hide, Fight. Secure yourself immediately,” the university said on Twitter shortly before 6 p.m. The school said later on its website the campus was on lockdown and that students and staff should remain in a safe location.
Video footage aired on local television and posted to social media showed scenes – increasingly familiar with the rise of school gun violence in the United States – of students evacuating campus buildings with their hands raised as police officers ran past them toward the scene of the shooting.
A spokeswoman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department confirmed there had been an active shooter at the university but declined to give any further information. According to its website, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte enrolls more than 26,500 students and employees 3,000 faculty and staff.
The deadliest mass shooting on a campus of higher education in the United States took place at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia, on April 16, 2007, when a South Korean student killed 32 people in a shooting rampage, before killing himself.
(Source – The Hindu)