Cyclone Asani

New Delhi, March 20: Cyclone Asani, the low-pressure area over South East Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman Sea has moved east-northeastwards and is likely to intensify into a depression on Sunday and cyclonic storm Asani around March 21, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin.

In its bulletin on Saturday, the IMD said thereafter, it is likely to move nearly north-northeastwards and reach near north Myanmar southeast Bangladesh coasts on March 22.

The IMD has also predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in a few places over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with isolated extremely heavy rainfall likely over the Nicobar Islands.

“Climatologically March is not cyclone season. It’s April and May. The ocean is cooler in March and solar insolation is not very high. In March westerly systems are predominant in the northern parts of the country and easterly waves are predominant over the Peninsular region,” a senior official informed.

“Asani may weaken before landfall but when its intensity is of a cyclone, it will be very close to Andaman & Nicobar Islands. So, we are expecting widespread heavy rains and strong winds to affect the islands,” he added.

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In view of forming a cyclone, the Disaster Management department has set up a 24X7 control room and closely monitors the ongoing situation. Secretary, Disaster Management Pankaj Kumar informed that vast arrangements have been made to tackle the situation, and quick response teams formed. He appeals to the public not to believe in rumours and reports any incident directly to the control room for action.

Meanwhile, teams of NDRF deployed in Andaman and Nicobar Islands are surveying, sensitizing, and evacuating people at low land areas with the help of district administration. In North and Middle Andaman districts, incident response teams have been set up to help in search and rescue operations.