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Asani intensifies into severe cyclonic storm; Andhra, Odisha on alert

VIJAYAWADA: Cyclonic storm Asani that has formed over southeast Bay of Bengal intensified into a severe cyclonic storm on Sunday evening and was speeding at 14 kmph in northwest direction.

At 5.30 pm, Sunday, it was centred around 810 km southeast off Visakhapatnam and 880 km south-southeast off Puri in Odisha. Asani, Sinhalese for ‘wrath’, is the first tropical storm of the year.

An India Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin predicted the possibility of the cyclone moving northwestward till May 10 night and reaching west-central and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal off north Andhra and Odisha coasts. It might recurve north-northeastward without making landfall and move towards northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha before fizzling out.

IMD predicted likely light to moderate rainfall at few places with heavy rainfall at isolated places over north coastal Andhra on May 10 and 11.

Squally wind, touching 40-50 kmph and gusting to 60 kmph, is likely over coastal north Andhra and adjoining coastal districts of Odisha.

As per the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (APSDMA), sea condition is likely to be high to very high over central parts of Bay of Bengal on May 9.

Sea condition is likely to become high to very high over northwest Bay of Bengal on May 12. Fishermen have been advised against venturing into the sea till Thursday (May 12) and those already out in the sea, have been asked to return immediately.

Srikakulam district collector alerted the district revenue, police and other department officials in wake of severe cyclone and possible heavy rains.

He directed officials to open a control room (08942-240557) and operate it round-the-clock till the storm dissipates.

Officials have been directed to alert the people living in coastal mandals and keep rescue and relief personnel, and materials on standby.

Fisheries department was instructed to ensure that fishermen did not venture into the sea. Meanwhile, Asani has brought the mercury levels across the State down.

In the 24 hours ending 8:30 am on Sunday, rainfall occurred at one or two places over Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema. Between 8:30 am and 8 pm on Sunday, rainfall occurred in several places in north Andhra districts, with Narsipatnam recording the highest of 8.8 cm.

The highest daytime temperature of 43.2 degrees Celsius was reported at Jammalamadugu in Kadapa district.