New Delhi: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday said that the Cyclone Asani has changed its course and will likely go northwards for the next few hours.
''CS ASANI lay centered at 0530 hrs IST, near lat 15.8°N & long 81.4°E, about 40 km south of Machilipatnam. Likely to move nearly northwards for next few hours & recurve slowly NNEwards & emerge into westcentral BoB off North AP coasts by night,'' IMD tweeted.
The IMD further said that the cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal is likely to cause heavy rainfall and extremely strong winds along the Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts on Wednesday. There will be heavy rainfall at isolated places in coastal West Bengal as well.
The storm is expected to weaken into a depression by Thursday morning, the weather office predicted.
"We are expecting it to touch the coast on Wednesday morning," said Ananda Kumar Das, in charge of the weather bureau's cyclone monitoring division. "The impact may not be very severe, but people still need to be prepared."
"The system is moving slowly and its weakening was expected. In the past many hours, its size has become smaller and has helped Asani to retain its energy and intensity," Das added.
According to IMD, the wind speed is expected to fall to 85-95kmph by Tuesday night and 55-65kmph on Wednesday morning.
A red warning has also been issued for coastal Andhra Pradesh to allow authorities to take action to prevent disasters. A storm surge of 0.5 m above the astronomical tide is likely to inundate the low-lying areas of Krishna, East and West Godavari, and Visakhapatnam districts of the state.