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Cyclone Asani: Andaman Islands Gear Up As Rainfall Begins; All You Need To Know

According to officials, around 100 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed and six relief camps opened in various parts of Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a precautionary measure.

Cyclone Asani brewing over the low pressure belt of Bay of Bengal
Cyclone Asani brewing over the low pressure belt of Bay of Bengal PTI

Officials on Sunday confirmed that normal life in parts of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands was affected due to rain and strong winds because of Cyclone Asani.

According to them, the inter-island shipping services have been stopped and fishermen warned not to venture into the sea as the year's first cyclonic storm nears the archipelago.

Around 100 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed and six relief camps opened in various parts of the islands as a precautionary measure, the officials said.

North and Middle Andaman experienced rain and strong winds but life in Port Blair remained normal, they said.

"Yesterday's well-marked low-pressure area intensified into a depression over southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south the Andaman Sea at 0530 IST of today the 20th March 2022. To intensify further into a Deep Depression during next 24 hours," the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a Twitter post on Sunday.

The system is expected to move towards the Bangladesh-Myanmar coasts. 

As a pre-emptive measure, Andaman and Nicobar Islands' MP Kuldeep Rai had previously requested Lieutenant Governor Admiral (Retd.) D K Joshi to put the disaster management repertoire on high alert. He also urged Joshi to declare holidays on March 19 and 21 in all schools and colleges.

Predictions by India Meteorological Department (IMD)

In its prediction, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had earlier mentioned the presence of a well-marked low-pressure area that persists over the southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south the Andaman Sea which is expected to advance in the northwards direction along and off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and gradually intensify into a depression by March 20 morning and into a cyclonic storm by March 21.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) had previously predicted that, on March 20, Andaman Islands would witness light to moderate rainfall or thundershower at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall while the Nicobar islands will witness isolated heavy rainfall over.

“On March 21, light to moderate rainfall or thunderstorms in most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall are very likely over the Andaman Islands. Light to moderate rainfall at a few places is likely over the Nicobar Islands”, said the IMD.

Precautionary measures and advisories issued by the Govt

Following IMD's prediction on Cyclone Asani, Chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Administration Jitendra Narain convened a meeting on Friday to take stock of the preparedness of the local administration. He requested all the stakeholders to set up temporary camps with adequate provisions for food, water, and other basic amenities. 

He has also directed the shipping services to be immediately suspended and urged all the fishermen to refrain from venturing into the sea.  

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has been deployed full-fledged as Cyclone Asani is likely to hit the coasts of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The ICG ships and aircraft in the southeast Bay of Bengal and the adjoining south Andaman Sea has been prompting weather warnings to all mariners and fishermen at sea.

Meanwhile, tourism activities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been suspended from March 19 to March 22 considering IMD's warning about the onset of cyclonic weather. 

(With PTI Inputs)

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