Cyclone Asani, lying over southwest Bay of Bengal, is likely to intensify into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ in the next 12 hours as it moves northwestwards, said the India Meteorological Department on Sunday. The cyclone is expected to get stronger, but will not be making a landfall and fizzle out next week.
Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal are on alert as under the influence of the cyclone, coastal areas are expected to experience heavy winds and rains from May 10. Mrutunjay Mohaptra, director-general of IMD, said the cyclone was unlikely to make landfall either in the coast of Odisha or Andhra Pradesh, but will move parallel to the coast in the sea.
“The CS ‘Asani’ over Southeast BoB moved northwestwards and lay centered at 1130 hours IST of today, over the same region about 530 km west-northwest of Car Nicobar (Nicobar Islands), 440 km west of Port Blair (Andaman Islands), 900 km southeast of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).”
Here’s all you need to know about Cyclone Asani:
- Kolkata taking lessons from Amphan
While Asani is unlikely to hit Kolkata, the storm will bring heavy rains. Leaves of all KMC employees concerned have been cancelled to deal with any emergency situation that arises. “We are, however, making preparations to deal with any eventuality if the cyclone hits the city so that life is brought back to normal as soon as possible,” Hakim said. The city will be taking lessons from the devastating effect of the “super cyclone” Amphan in May 2020. The KMC administration is keeping cranes, electric saws and earthmovers on standby to clear blockades caused by fallen trees and other debris. A control room will be operational during Asani’s movement.
- Odisha not lowering guard
The Odisha government said it has not lowered its guard even after getting information that the cyclone will not hit the state’s coast. The state was prepared to evacuate 7.5 lakh people if need be, said special relief commissioner PK Jena.
- Asani’s movement
The Met has predicted that Asani, on reaching west-central and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal off north Andhra-Odisha coasts on May 10, is very likely to recurve north-northeast wards and move towards northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha coast. The severe cyclonic storm is very likely to lose some steam thereafter and turn into a cyclonic storm on May 11 and further dissipate into a deep depression by May 12.
- Speed and strength
The maximum speed limit may increase to 95 to 105 kmph with gusting to 115 kmph by Sunday evening. On Monday, the wind speed will be 105 to 115 kmph with gusting to 125 kmph and then the storm is expected to lose steam in the sea on May 10 with wind speed coming down to 96 to 105 kmph with gusting to 115 kmph in the early hours reducing progressively as the day wears off.
- Light to moderate rainfall
Asani is likely to bring light to moderate rainfall over Gangetic West Bengal from May 10 to 13 with heavy downpour at one or two places in the coastal districts of Purba Medinipur, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas in West Bengal. The administrations of these three districts are keeping cyclone shelters, schools and other pucca structures, dry food and necessary medicines ready.
- Fishermen on alert
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea and along and off West Bengal and Odisha coasts from May 10 till further notice. The sea conditions near the Odisha coast will become rough on Monday and rougher on May 10. The wind speed in the sea will increase to 80-90 kmph on May 10.
- Asani named by Sri Lanka
Cyclone Asani is a name given by Sri Lanka that means ‘wrath’ in Sinhalese. The cyclone that will form after Asani will be called Sitrang, a name given by Thailand. The names that will be used in the future include the likes of Ghurni, Probaho, Jhar and Murasu from India, Biparjoy (Bangladesh), Asif (Saudi Arabia), Diksam (Yemen) and Toofan (Iran) and Shakhti (Sri Lanka).
(With PTI inputs)
Originally published at www.news18.com