Int'l - There is a need to reimagine the way we think about our coastal commons

As the COVID-19 outbreak raged across Goa, the state with the highest positivity rate at that point, Cyclone Tauktae struck land and knocked down trees, destroyed people’s homes, uprooted electrical poles and damaged internet cables.

As the COVID-19 outbreak raged across Goa, the state with the highest positivity rate at that point, Cyclone Tauktae struck land and knocked down trees, destroyed people’s homes, uprooted electrical poles and damaged internet cables. Life in the village of Aldona where I live came to a standstill. Sixty hours without power, the internet, phone network and water supply – the more abstract concepts of global climate change and resilience became local, real and personal.

The Arabian sea, which has historically seen fewer cyclones as compared to the Bay of Bengal, is rapidly warming. In 2019, five out of the eight recorded cyclones in India were in Arabian Sea, an alarming statistic which was comparable only to that of 1902. Tauktae is the biggest cyclone to have hit the western coast in nearly three decades. It is the latest in the list of unusual and unpredictable weather events induced by rising sea temperatures in the Indian ocean region. The sea is also currently the fastest warming sea in the world. Climate scientists raised alarm over the peculiarities of Cyclone Tauktae, which had intensified quickly from depression to extremely severe cyclone in just a matter of two days and sustained its severity.

At a time when the west coast was reeling from the loss of life and property due to Cyclone Tauktae, India’s east coast was hit by Cyclone Yaas in the last week of May that left a trail of destruction in the coastal areas of West Bengal and Odisha.


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