Cyclone Asani, which originated over the southeast Bay of Bengal, further intensified into a severe cyclonic storm on Sunday evening and is inching closer to the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coast. Though it is still unlikely to make a landfall, it could skirt the coastal districts of these states in the next two days, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) mentioned.
Cyclone Asani is very likely to recurve and approach the northwest Bay of Bengal off the Odisha coast. It is the first cyclonic storm of this season as a similar weather event in March had fizzled out before it could intensify into a cyclonic storm.
Here are some key developments of Cyclone Asani:
1. IMD Director-General Mrutunjay Mohaptra said the cyclone will move parallel to the east coast and cause rainfall from Tuesday evening. As forecasted it might cause thunderstorms, lightning and light rain over Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Sikkim till May 12.
2. Odisha is put on a high alert ahead of the heavy rain (64.4mm to 115.5mm in 24 hours) forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday. Heavy rainfall is very likely in areas of Gajapati, Ganjam and Puri on Tuesday. The next day, heavy rainfall may happen in Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Cuttack. Even on Thursday heavy rainfall is very likely in Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Kendrapada, Bhadrak and Balasore.
3. Two tourists drowned in the sea at Mandarmani in West Bengal's Purba Medinipur district on Sunday. "They had apparently strayed beyond the sea beach and waded into the water and were swept into the sea in choppy waters," an officer of the Mandarmani coastal police station told PTI. The district administration has warned tourists to stay away from the sea in Mandarmani, Digha and other popular spots in the region.
4. Odisha's Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said the state government has made arrangements for rescue operations. Rescue teams of NDRF, ODRAF and Fire Services are on standby for any eventuality.
5. Altogether 7.5 lakh people in 18 districts can be evacuated if any emergency situation arises out of the impending cyclonic storm, the SRC said.
6. The cyclone might bring light to moderate rainfall over Gangetic West Bengal from Tuesday to Friday, with heavy downpour at one or two places in the coastal districts of the state, the weather office said.
7. The sea conditions near the Odisha coast will get rough on May 9 and rougher on May 10. The wind speed in the sea will increase to 80-90 kmph on May 10. The windy conditions will prevail till May 11 and reduce thereafter.
8. Disaster management teams, police and Kolkata Municipal Corporation employees have been asked to stay prepared in Bengal. Capital city of Kolkata is in readiness, with the civic body keeping pumping stations on standby to drain waterlogged areas, as well as cranes, electric saws and earthmovers to clear blockades caused by fallen trees and other debris.
9. The administrations of Bengal’s Purba Medinipur, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas are keeping cyclone shelters, schools and other pucca structures ready if evacuation is needed. Dry food and necessary medicine are also being arranged in case of emergency.
10. The weather office has advised fishermen not to venture into the sea and along and off West Bengal and Odisha coasts from Tuesday till further notice.
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