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Asani not to make landfall on Odisha, AP coast: IMD

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Severe cyclonic storm ‘Asani’ which is moving towards the east coast, packing winds above 105 kmph and setting off heavy rain, is likely to recurve in a north-eastward direction and weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday.

According to IMD, the storm, lying over west-central and adjoining South Bay of Bengal, moved nearly north-westwards with a speed of 16 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred over west-central Bay of Bengal about 860 km west-northwest of Port Blair (Andaman Islands), 410 km southeast of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and 590 km south of Puri (Odisha).

“It is very likely to move north-westwards till May 10 and reach west-central and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal off North Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts. Thereafter, it is very likely to re-curve north-northeast wards and move towards Northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha coast. It is likely to weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours,” the IMD said in a special bulletin.

Gale wind speed reaching 85-95 kmph gusting to 105 kmph is likely to prevail around the system centre over west-central Bay of Bengal from May 10 morning. It would gradually decrease over west-central and adjoining Northwest Bay of Bengal by midnight. The wind speed would decrease to 65-75 kmph on May 11.

In Odisha, a yellow warning has been issued for districts such as Ganjam, Khordha, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Gajapati and Cuttack. Eleven fishermen, who were precariously stranded in a boat that developed technical snag on return to the coast, were airlifted by helicopter of the Indian Coastguard off Odisha’s Ganjam coast.

Kolkata and adjoining areas received a heavy spell of downpour on Monday morning.

In view of the preparedness for the storm, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday postponed her visits to Jhargram and Purba Medinipur districts scheduled from May 10 to 12.

In Andhra Pradesh, the Visakhapatnam city and the neighbouring coastal districts of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam, have been experiencing strong winds since afternoon on Monday. At some places the wind speed has been touching 40 km per hour.

Heavy rain is likely at one or two places over Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, East and West Godavari districts till Tuesday morning. The Tirupati district administration on Sunday night opened a control room at the Mandal Revenue Office at Tada, in view of the alert issued for the cyclonic storm Asani.

Kolkata prepares

The rainfall in Kolkata and adjoining coastal areas resulted in water logging in certain areas and normal life was affected. Kolkata recorded significant rainfall with 58 mm rains in Alipore area along with good rainfall in coastal towns of Diamond Harbour and Haldia. While the storm is likely to weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm during next 24 hours the Regional Metreological Centre, at Alipore in Kolkata predicted heavy rainfall about (07-11 cm) along with thunderstorm over Howrah, East Midnapore, North & South 24 Parganas and Nadia districts of gangetic West Bengal from Tuesday to Thursday.

The weather office has advised fishermen to return from the sea by Monday night and not to venture into the seas from Tuesday. The other actions suggested include suspension of fishing and tourist activities from May 10-13, 2022, regulating off-shore activities and draining out excess water from the agriculture field.

Coast Guard rescues fishermen

Meanwhile, 11 fishermen, who were precariously stranded in a boat that developed technical snag on return to coast, were airlifted by helicopter of Indian Coastguard off Odisha’s Ganjam coast on Monday.

“Initially, we had received information that 12 to 14 persons from Chikiti area of Ganjam district were coming from Visakhapatnam by boat. About one kilometer from coast, the boat developed glitch. As the sea wave was rough, they kept floating dangerously,” said P. K. Jena, Special Relief Commissioner here.

“The government immediately requested Indian Coastguard to come to their rescue by airlifting them from the boat. After the risky operation, all 11 occupants of the boat were rescued,” he added.

It would gradually decrease becoming 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph over westcentral and adjoining Northwest Bay of Bengal by midnight. The wind speed would further decrease to 65-75 kmph on May 11.

Meanwhile the severe cyclonic storm ‘Asani’ over west central and adjoining south Bay of Bengal moved nearly northwestwards with a speed of 16 KM/hr during past six hours and lay centred over west central Bay of Bengal, about 920 KM northwest of Car Nicobar (Nicobar Islands), 860 KM west-northwest of Port Blair (Andaman Islands), 410 KM southeast of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and 590 KM south of Puri (Odisha), on May 9 (afternoon), according to a bulletin issued by the Cyclone Warning Centre (CWC) on Monday evening.

Heavy rain is likely at one or two places over Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, East and West Godavari districts till Tuesday morning. Heavy to very heavy rainfall (Orange warning) is likely to occur at one or two places over Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts on May 11 and 12 and heavy rainfall (yellow warning) is likely to occur at one or two places over West Godavari district on May 11 and 12.

(with PTI inputs)