Cyclone Asani LIVE: Kolkata on alert, Odisha says ready to evacuate 7.5 lakh people

The cyclone is very likely to recurve north-northeastwards and move towards Northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha coast
The cyclonic storm named ‘Asani’ is expected to further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday.
Earlier on Saturday, the department had predicted that a depression has formed over the southeast Bay of Bengal about 170km west of Car Nicobar and is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm by 8 May.
“The deep depression has intensified into a cyclonic storm named ‘Asani’. It’s moving at 16 kmph in a northwest direction. It is at 970 km in the southeast direction from Vishakapatnam and 1,020 km in the southeast direction from Puri,” said Umashankar Das, a senior IMD scientist. 
“We are expecting it’ll move in northwest direction till May 10 evening. Possibility, it’ll further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours,” he added.
However, the scientist denied the possibility of landfall and said that it will recurve and move parallel to the Odisha coast.

“Due to the prediction of ‘Asani’ storm, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s three-day program in West Midnapore and Jhargram has been rescheduled to May 17, 18, and 19 from May 10, 11 and 12,” said Trinamool Congress General Secretary Kunal Ghosh on Sunday.

Cyclone Asani over Southeast Bay of Bengal moved northwestwards and lay centred at 1130 hours IST of today. The cyclone layed over the same region about 530 km west-northwest of Car Nicobar (Nicobar Islands), 440 km west of Port Blair (Andaman Islands) and 900 km southeast of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), as per IMD.

Fishermen are advised not to venture into East-central and Southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining the Andaman Sea on 8 May, the IMD said. It also advised them not to venture into central parts of the Bay of Bengal on 9 and 10 May and over Northwest Bay of Bengal from 10-12 May.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has put on alert its employees and disaster management teams in view of the formation of the cyclonic storm. The leaves of all employees concerned have been cancelled to deal with any emergency evolving.

Odisha special relief commissioner Pradeep Jena has said that arrangements have been made to evacuate 7.5 lakh people in 18 districts if any such emergency situation arises due to the cyclone. 
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