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Cyclone Fani - explained; World Press Freedom Day 2019 – Current Affairs

Railways, Civil Aviation and Shipping Ministries were advised to review their preparedness well in time and ensure quick resumption of their services in the event of any disruption.

May 3, 2019 10:04 IST
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Cyclone Fani reached Odisha

Story 1: Extremely Severe Cyclone Fani reached Odisha Coast

Cyclonic Storm ‘Fani’ reached Odisha Coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali around Puri on May 03, 2019 with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph. The cyclone Fani is being tracked by Doppler Weather Radars Vishakhapatnam and Machilipatnam.

Cabinet Secretary P. K. Sinha has directed that all necessary measures be taken to complete evacuation of people from areas in the path of cyclone Fani and maintain adequate quantities of essential supplies such as food, drinking water and medicines etc. Railways, Civil Aviation and Shipping Ministries were advised to review their preparedness well in time and ensure quick resumption of their services in the event of any disruption.

Warnings

  • North Andhra Pradesh: Light to moderate rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over Visakhapatnam and Vijayanagaram district and isolated heavy to extremely.
  • Odisha: Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall and extremely heavy falls (over Ganjam & Gajapati districts) at isolated places very likely over south coastal & adjoining interior Odisha.
  • West Bengal: Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places very likely over coastal & adjoining districts of West Bengal on 3rd; and heavy to very falls at isolated places over Gangetic West Bengal on 4th Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy falls at isolated places over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim on 4th May.
  • Arunachal Pradesh, Assam & Meghalaya: Light to moderate rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls very likely over Arunachal Pradesh and Assam & Meghalaya on 4th & 5th May.

Facts about Cyclone Fani

  • Cyclone Fani is a massive cyclonic formation over the south of Bay of Bengal. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that Fani's speeds ranging up to 180 kilometres per hour causing heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of the State.
  • IMD also warned of storm surge of about 1.5 meter height which may inundate low lying coastal areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha at the time of landfall.
  • Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations. Army and Air Force units in the three States have also been put on standby.
  • NDRF has deployed 12 teams in Andhra Pradesh, 28 teams in Odisha and 6 teams in West Bengal. Additionally 32 teams have been kept on standby. The teams are equipped with boats, tree cutters, telecom equipment etc.

Why name Fani?

  • The name of the Cyclone 'Fani', pronounced as 'Foni' was suggested by Bangladesh. It means 'Snake' or 'hood of snake'.
  • The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has devised a mechanism where countries submit a list of names from time to time. Names of cyclones are chosen from this pool.
  • India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan and Thailand send names of tropical cyclones developing in the North Indian Ocean to the regional committee.
  • Presently, each country has suggested eight names for cyclones occurring in future.
  • The name ‘Fani’ was decided from a list containing 64 names.

Wind Warnings by IMD

  • Strong wind speed reaching 180-190 kmph gusting to 210 kmph is very likely to prevail over west-central Bay of Bengal around system centre during May 03 2019 and decrease thereafter.
  • Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is very likely to prevail along & off north Andhra Pradesh & Odisha Coasts and become gale wind speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 85 kmph from 2nd May night. It is very likely to become 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph along & off south Odisha & adjoining north Andhra Pradesh (Srikakulam District) coasts; and 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph along & off remaining districts of coastal Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh (Visakhapatnam and Vijayanagaram Districts) by 3rd May forenoon for subsequent 12 hours.
  • Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is very likely along & off West Bengal coast from 2nd May evening. It is very likely become gale wind speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 85 kmph from 3rd May afternoon and become 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph from 4th May early morning for subsequent 12 hours and decrease.

Story 2: World Press Freedom Day-2019 celebrated

Press Freedom Day: May 03

The 26th celebration of World Press Freedom Day is jointly organized by UNESCO, the African Union Commission and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The main event has taken place in Addis Ababa, on May 03, 2019 at the African Union Headquarters. This year's theme is - “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”- discusses current challenges faced by media in elections, along with the media’s potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes.

The overall theme of the event is the role of media in elections and democracy. A wide range of sessions (plenaries, debates, lightning talks, etc.) addressed different aspects of the overall theme.

Background

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.

It is an opportunity to:

  • celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom;
  • assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;
  • defend the media from attacks on their independence;
  • and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize

  • UNESCO marks World Press Freedom Day by conferring the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize on a deserving individual, organisation or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger.
  • Created in 1997, the prize is awarded on the recommendation of an independent jury of 14 news professionals.
  • Names are submitted by regional and international non-governmental organisations working for press freedom, and by UNESCO member states.
  • It is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper El Espectador in Bogotá, Colombia on 17 December 1986.