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Heavy rains lash Andaman & Nicobar, UT braces for cyclone 'Asani'

Heavy rains lash Andaman & Nicobar, UT braces for cyclone Asani
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Port Blair: Heavy rain coupled with strong winds pounded Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Monday under the influence of a depression over the north Andaman Sea, which is likely to intensify into a cyclone by evening, the India Meteorological Department said.

The depression over the north Andaman Sea intensified into a deep depression, moving north-northeastwards at a speed of 12 km per hour, it said.

The weather system, which lay about 110 km east-southeast of Port Blair on Andaman Islands, is expected to further intensify into a cyclone by Monday evening, the IMD said.

"It is likely to move nearly northwards along and off Andaman Islands towards the Myanmar coast during the next 48 hours," it said in a bulletin.

People living in low-lying and flood-prone areas in the archipelago have been evacuated and housed in temporary relief camps in North and Middle Andaman and South Andaman districts, officials said.

Inter-island ferry services as well as shipping services with Chennai and Visakhapatnam have been stopped, and all educational institutions closed in the wake of the inclement weather, they said.

Around 150 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed and six relief camps opened in various parts of the islands, the officials said.

Long Island has received 131 mm of rainfall till 8.30 am, while 26.1 mm rainfall was recorded in Port Blair, they said.

Control Rooms have also been opened in all the three districts of the union territory.

The sea condition is likely to be very rough and the weather office has advised suspension of all tourism and fishing activities for the next two days.

Fishermen are advised not to venture into southeast Bay of Bengal on Monday, and into the Andaman Sea on Monday and Tuesday.

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