The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in its latest weather bulletin has warned of heavy rain, thundershowers and squally winds in southern Kerala over the next 48 hours due to the formation of a depression over the southeast Arabian Sea.
“Yesterday’s well-marked low-pressure area over Equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining south Sri Lanka and Maldives-Comorin area concentrated into a depression and lay centred at 0830 IST of today, the 13th March 2018, over the southeast Arabian Sea adjoining Equatorial Indian Ocean near latitude 5.00N and longitude 76.00E, about 480 km southeast of Minicoy, 390 km south-southwest of Thiruvananthapuram and 290 km east-northeast of Male (the Maldives),” the IMD bulletin issued at noon today said.
The IMD made it clear that the depression is likely to transform into a deep depression and move northwestwards in the next 48 hours. Squally winds with speeds reaching 45-55 kmph are likely to hit the southern coasts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala during the next few days. The sea will turn rough in this period and therefore fishermen have been warned from going out, the agency said.
For a state that suffered extensive damage, especially to its southern coast, and heavy loss of lives when Cyclone Ockhi wreaked havoc late last year, a repetition of the same fear and panic is likely to be experienced among the coastal communities again. The ruling LDF government, criticised for its alleged late response to the cyclone, has already taken emergency measures, sending SOS messages to the coast to prevent fishermen from going out to sea. Coastal villages have been told to remain on alert.
In the case of Ockhi, the IMD had issued similar bulletins noting how a depression formed over the Comorin area had quickly developed into a deep depression and a cyclonic storm in a matter of few hours. The speed with which the storm acquired strength last year had astounded meteorologists.