Andaman and Nicobar Islands may experience heavy rainfall and strong winds today as depression over Bay of Bengal approaches northwards, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) scientist RK Janamani.

Janamani told news agency ANI, “So far it is a depression which will intensify into a deep depression by Monday morning and it will further intensify into a cyclonic storm by Monday evening. If it emerges into a cyclonic storm, then it will be known as Cyclone Asani.”

The Met Department also shared in a tweet that a depression has been formed over north Andaman Sea at about 250 km NNE of Car Nicobar or Nicobar Islands and 80 km ESE of Port Blair or Andaman Islands.

“Depression over north Andaman Sea about 250 km NNE of Car Nicobar (Nicobar Islands), 80 km ESE of Port Blair (Andaman Islands). To move nearly northwards along and off Andaman and Nicobar Islands, intensify into a deep depression in next 12 hours and into a cyclonic storm in next 12 hours,” the IMD tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Depression over north Andaman Sea and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal moved northeastwards at 12 km/hour during the last 6 hours, intensified into a deep depression and lay centered at 05:30 hours as of March 21, over the same region about 110 km east-southeast of Port Blair (Andaman Islands), 320 km north-northeast of Car Nicobar (Nicobar Islands) and 610 km south-southwest of Yangon (Myanmar).

This depression may intensify into cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours and is likely to move nearly northwards along and off Andaman Islands towards Myanmar coast during next 48 hours, as per the Met Department’s pre-cyclone watch for Andaman Islands and adjoining sea areas.

Here are top points to know about Cyclone Asani:

  1. IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said that cyclone Asani is likely to move along and off Andaman Islands towards Myanmar and south Bangladesh coast. He also noted that the cyclone will not make landfall in Andaman Islands.
  2. Weather system is likely to intensify first into deep depression and later into cyclonic storm on Monday.
  3. Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration is making necessary arrangements to minimize the damage caused by the storm.
  4. Chief Secretary of the Union Territory Jitendra Narain asked officials to ensure that temporary camps are set up for shelter with adequate provisions for food, water and other basic amenities.
  5. Around 150 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel have been deployed with necessary equipment to carry out search and rescue operations.
  6. Disaster Management Secretary Pankaj Kumar said total 68 NDFR personnel have been deployed in Port Blair and 25 each in Diglipur, Ranghat and Hutbay areas.
  7. Indian Coast Guard ships have been moving the fishermen out of the sea and issuing weather warnings since Sunday afternoon.
  8. Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and Indian Coast Guard are on standby and central ministries are also ready for assistance.
  9. Local administration has also stopped inter-island shipping services and those with Chennai and Vishakhapatnam.
  10. Fishermen have been advised to not venture into southeast Bay of Bengal from March 20 to 21; into Andaman Sea and along and off Andaman and Nicobar Islands from March 20 to 22; into eastcentral Bay of Bengal during March 21to 22 and into northeast Bay of Bengal on March 22, as per the Met Department.