The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Thursday, 17 March, this year's first cyclone will develop in the Bay of Bengal, near Andaman and Nicobar Islands around 21 March. It will be called Cyclone Asani, a name given to it by Sri Lanka.
Asani, currently a low-pressure area, is likely to move in the northeast direction, become a well-marked low-pressure area, and reach the south Andaman sea by the morning of Saturday, 19 March, according to IMD. It will likely move along Andaman & Nicobar Islands and intensify into a depression by morning of Sunday, 20 March.
On Monday, 21 March, it is expected to turn into a full-fledged cyclonic storm, with wind speeds of up to 90 kmph, and move nearly north-northeastwards to reach the coasts of Bangladesh and Myanmar around morning of Tuesday, 22 March.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands MP Kuldeep Rai has urged Lieutenant Governor Admiral DK Joshi to put the disaster management machinery on high alert and declare a holiday from 19 to 21 March in all schools and colleges, PTI reported.
Here are IMD's rainfall warnings for each day for the Andaman and Nicobar islands, which will face the brunt of the storm:
18 March: Light to moderate rainfall/thundershower at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places very likely over Nicobar Islands.
19 March: Light to moderate rainfall/thundershower at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places very likely over Andaman & Nicobar Islands with isolated extremely heavy rainfall likely over Nicobar Islands.
20 March: Light to moderate rainfall/thundershower at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places very likely over Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
21 March: Light to moderate rainfall/thundershower at most places with isolated heavy rainfalls very likely over Andaman Islands.
The department has advised fishermen not to venture into southeast Bay of Bengal from 17 to 21 March, into east central Bay of Bengal and around the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from 18 to 22 March, and into northeast Bay of Bengal on 22 March.
Union Home Secretary on Friday, 18 March, reviewed the preparedness of Central agencies and the administration of Andaman and Nicobar. It has stationed one National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in the Union territory, and is readying other teams and emergency supplies.
All three armed forces are on standby.