The Weather Office has warned fishermen against venturing into the deep sea (File)
The Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Asani’ has weakened into a ‘cyclonic storm’ and is likely to become a depression by Thursday morning, the weather office has said Here are the top 10 updates on this big storySevere Cyclone Asani weakened to a cyclonic storm on Wednesday as it barrelled towards north coastal Andhra Pradesh and came within 34 km of Narsapur in the state, packing wind speed of 85 km per hour and bringing heavy rains to the region, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said.The cyclone is very likely to move nearly northwestwards for the next few hours and reach Westcentral Bay of Bengal close to Andhra Pradesh coast. “Thereafter, it’s very likely to recurve slowly north-northeastwards, move along Machilipatnam, Narsapur, Yanam, Kakinada, Tuni and Visakhapatnam coasts and emerge into westcentral Bay of Bengal off North Andhra Pradesh coasts by today evening,” said the weather office.The weather system was expected to move away from the coast and further weaken into a depression by Thursday, it said.The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed nine teams in Andhra Pradesh and kept another seven teams on standby, one team has been deployed in Odisha and 17 have been put on standby. Meanwhile, 12 teams have been deployed in West Bengal and five were on standby.Heavy rainfall is likely at one or two places over Purba Medinipur, Paschim Medinipur, North and South 24 Parganas and Nadia districts of the West Bengal till May 12 morning. In Odisha, five districts – Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Ganjam and Gajapati – have been put on “high alert”.The Weather Office has warned fishermen against venturing into the deep sea in the region till Thursday, as Odisha and West Bengal braced for heavy rain.According to the weather office, the cyclone could damage thatched huts, cause minor damage to power and communication lines, harm paddy and other standing crops in Krishna, East and West Godavari, and Vishakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh, and Yanam in Puducherry.Flight services to and from Visakhapatnam airport have been cancelled in view of the cyclone threat. While Indigo, which operates a large number of flights from the port city, cancelled 23 of its services. Other operators like Air Asia and Air India have also suspended their servicesUnion Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Tuesday reviewed the preparedness of Central Ministries, agencies and administrations of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha to tackle the impending Cyclone ‘Asani’ in the Bay of Bengal.The weather office has been monitoring the cyclonic storm since the first signs of its formation emerged last week. It has issued 30 national bulletins since May 7, predicting the track of the cyclone and alerting civic administrations about the possible damage it could cause.