Cyclone Asani, formed over the southeast Bay of Bengal, has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and moved in the direction of north Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coasts.
Alert has been sounded in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal as these states are likely to experience heavy rains from tomorrow. India Meteorological Department has said that the cyclone is expected to get stronger, but will not make landfall either in Odisha or Andhra Pradesh. Odisha government said it has not lowered its guard even after getting information that the cyclone will not hit the state’s coast.
AIR correspondent reports that as per the forecast of the Indian Meteorological Department, the system is not likely to make any landfall either in Odisha or Andhra Pradesh. Yet, as a precautionary measure, the Odisha Government has alerted all the coastal districts to be ready with their local evacuation plans, should the situation so warrant. It has also put rescue teams of NDRF, ODRAF, and Fire service on standby mode, particularly in view of the expected cyclone-induced rainfall ranging from heavy to very heavy at some places in the coastal areas from tomorrow. The system, now about 740 km away from Puri in Odisha is moving north-westward at a speed of about 21 km per hour. Meanwhile, fishermen, who were away in the Bay of Bengal have been called back ashore and have been cautioned against venturing into the rough sea for the next couple of days.
In West Bengal, While Asani is unlikely to hit Kolkata, the storm will bring heavy rains. Leaves of all Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) employees have been canceled to deal with any emergency situation. The KMC administration is keeping cranes, electric saws, and earthmovers on standby to clear blockages caused by fallen trees and other debris. A control room will be operational during Asani’s movement.