With the year's first cyclone Asani brewing over the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Administration on Saturday issued an advisory for fishermen appealing to them no to venture into the sea during the period of the cyclone from March 19-22.
"Fishermen are strongly advised not to venture into sea during the period of Cyclone Asani," the Andaman and Nicobar Administration tweeted on Saturday morning.
The weather forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had said that the low-pressure area over the Bay of Bengal will become well-marked by March 20 morning and turn into a cyclonic storm on March 21. It will then move along and off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and reach the Bangladesh-north Myanmar coasts on March 22.
"LPA over central parts of south Bay of Bengal become WML on March 19 along and off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, intensify into a depression by the morning of March 20 and into a cyclonic storm on March 21. To move nearly north-northeastwards and reach near Bangladesh-north Myanmar coasts on March 22," the national weather forecasting agency tweeted on March 17.
In view of the forecast, the Islands Administration has activated emergency control rooms. Chief Secretary Jitendra Narain on Friday reviewed the Union Territory-level preparations to face Cyclone Asani. All officers were directed to take every effort to ensure safety of all citizens.
The IMD in a statement on Friday had said that the low-pressure area over the central parts of southeast Bay of Bengal moved east-northeastwards and lay centred at 8.30 am (IST) over the southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman Seas and east Equatorial Indian Ocean.
It also predicted light to moderate rainfall or thundershower at most places of the Islands with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places on Saturday with squally winds speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph.
"Sea condition is very likely to become rough to very rough over Andaman Sea and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal during March 19. It would become very rough over the same region on March 20," IMD said.
The IMD also issued an advisory for the fishermen which stated: "Fishermen are advised not to venture into southeast Bay of Bengal area areas during March 18 to 21; into the Andaman Sea and along and off Andaman and Nicobar Islands during March 18 to 22; into east-central Bay of Bengal on March 21 and 22 and into the northeast Bay of Bengal on March 22."
Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on March 17 reviewed preparedness of Central Ministries and Agencies and administration of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in view of the impending cyclone in Bay of Bengal.
The Union Home Secretary had directed Central Ministries and Agencies to keep regular watch and be in touch with the Andaman and Nicobar administration to handle any situation.
Further, fishing, tourism and shipping activities have been stopped. Fishermen have been advised to return from sea. Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and Indian Coast Guard on stand by. Central Ministries ready with assistance if required, Ministry of Home Affairs had said in a statement.