Cyclone Asani: Andaman & Nicobar to witness heavy rains, winds
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy rain and strong winds in Andaman & Nicobar Islands as cyclone Asani is set to form over the Andaman Sea on Monday. While no landfall point was mentioned, IMD said the depression over the Andaman Sea is likely to move northwards along the islands and intensify "into a deep depression in the next 12 hours."
- This is the first cyclone this year that has put rescue teams on alert.
- Notably, an IMD official said March is "climatologically" not a cyclone season.
- According to the weather agency, only eight cyclones have been formed in the month of March between 1891 and 2020.
- These include two in the Arabian Sea and six in the Bay of Bengal.
According to IMD, the depression is formed over the Andaman Sea—250km north-northeast of Nicobar Islands and 80km east-southeast of Port Blair. "It will move along and off Andaman and Nicobar Islands and then over the east-central Bay of Bengal and along and off the Myanmar coast" and gradually reduce over the same region from Tuesday evening, a senior IMD scientist said.
The IMD scientist said when the depression moves along and off Andaman & Nicobar, it is likely to bring extremely heavy rains and strong winds to the region. The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are set to experience strong winds with speeds reaching 55-65km per hour, gusting to 75km per hour, the IMD predicted. Strong winds and rains are likely to cause damage and disruption.
Meanwhile, the government has put rescue teams on high alert and has deployed several National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams in Port Blair. Reportedly, the Indian Army and Navy are also on standby. Last week, the administration had also taken stock of the preparedness.
The government has advised fishermen not to venture along and off the islands on Monday and Tuesday. Also, partial disruption of power lines, flooding of roads, "localized landslides or mudslides" are on the impact list. Tourist activities have been suspended in the areas that are likely to be affected. The government also announced a holiday on Monday for all government, government-aided, and private schools.
An IMD official said, "Climatologically March is not cyclone season," while adding, "The ocean is cooler in March...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."