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Laila came from Pakistan

New Delhi: Cyclone Laila will be hitting the eastern coast on India in Thursday afternoon. But just why is the cyclonic storm named Laila?

The cyclones originating in the Indian Ocean are named by eight countries north of the ocean – India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Myanmar, Oman and Thailand. The procedure of naming the cyclones has been laid down by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The eight north Indian Ocean countries have prepared a list of 64 names for the cyclones. So according to the cycle the name of the cyclone currently raging in the Bay of Bengal was given by Pakistan. Unlike Western countries, the storms in the Indian Ocean are being named since 2004 only following a meeting of the WMO and ESCAP on Tropical Cyclones in 2000. Till now 64 cyclones have been named.

The eight north Indian Ocean countries take turns in naming the cyclones. The last eight were: Nargis (Pakistan), Rashmi (Sri Lanka), Khai-Muk (Thailand), Nisha (Bangladesh), Bijli (India), Aila (Maldives), Phyan (Myanmar) and Ward (Oman). The names are taken from lists drafted in advance by committees of the World Meteorological Organisation. After a cyclone has passed its name is retired and new names suggested.

The new method of naming cyclone was started by Australian meteorologist Clement Wragge. Before that the cyclones were named alphabetically like 1A, 1B etc.

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