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Cyclone Asani to Intensify Within 12 Hours, Says IMD; Andaman & Nicobar on Alert

People living in low-lying areas were evacuated to safety on Sunday as the archipelago experienced heavy rainfall.

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India
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This year's first, Cyclone Asani, is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm within 12 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a tweet on Monday, 21 March, as coastal areas of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are experiencing heavy rainfall and strong winds. People living in low-lying areas in the islands were evacuated to safety on Sunday, as the archipelago experienced strong winds and heavy rainfall.

IMD's Prediction

According to the IMD, the low-pressure area over South East Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman Sea has moved east-northeast wards and is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm later on Monday.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are expected to experience strong winds and heavy rain on Monday.

The cyclone is expected to move towards the Bangladesh-Myanmar coast.

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Precautionary Measures

The local administration is working on a war-footing. Over 100 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force, or NDRF, have been deployed and six relief camps set up in parts of the islands. Inter-island shipping services have been stopped and fishermen have been warned not to venture out to the sea.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ships and aircraft in the southeast Bay of Bengal and the adjoining south Andaman Sea relayed weather warnings to all mariners and fishermen at sea.

Tourism activities have been suspended from 19 March to 22 March.

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The Union Territory's Chief Secretary Jitendra Narain has instructed officials to ensure there is enough food and provisions for the people who have been evacuated and to keep a close eye on people living near the seashore.

On 17 March, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla reviewed the preparedness of central agencies and the island administration ahead of the landfall of the cyclone.

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