Sri Lanka braces for cyclonic storm

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Colombo, May 24 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s Meteorology Department on Monday warned that heavy rains and strong winds were expected to hit the island nation in the coming days as a cyclonic storm was expected to form in the Bay of Bengal.

The Meteorology Department, in its latest weather update, said strong winds along with thundershowers were expected over the North Andaman sea and adjoining the east-central Bay of Bengal and deep-sea area of southwest Bay of Bengal during the next few days, which would bring in heavy rains and winds into Sri Lanka, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The low-pressure area located in the East Central Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and will move northwestwards and reach near West Bengal coast around Wednesday,” the Department said.

The naval and fishing communities were advised not to venture into the East and Central Bay of Bengal and sea areas around the island until further notice.

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) said on Sunday that nine helicopters had been prepared and were on standby for relief and rescue operations in the event of a disaster due to the inclement weather.

The Disaster Management Centre has warned of possible floods and flash floods in several parts of the country in the next few days due to the low-pressure area in the Bay of Bengal and the onset of the southwest monsoon.