People living in low-lying areas in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were evacuated to safety on Sunday as the archipelago experienced strong winds and heavy rainfall in view of Cyclone Asani, PTI reported.

The India Meteorological Department has predicted that the storm will intensify into a deep depression in the next 24 hours and further into a cyclonic storm on March 22.

Named by Sri Lanka, the storm is expected to move along and off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands towards the coasts of Bangladesh and North Myanmar. The cyclone poses no direct threat to mainland India, according to The Indian Express.

The Andaman and Nicobar administration said that members of the National Disaster Response Force were deployed at different places to carry out search and rescue operations.

All schools and colleges have been directed to remain closed on Monday as a precautionary measure.

The administration has also cancelled the scheduled sailing of vessels between Port Blair and nearby islands, according to India Today. Fishermen have been strongly advised not to venture into Andaman Sea and adjoining South East Bay of Bengal.

Disaster Management Secretary Pankaj Kumar said the island administration is taking all measures to ensure the safety of people.

“A total of 68 National Disaster Response Force personnel have been deployed in Port Blair, and 25 each in Diglipur, Rangat and Hutbay areas,” he said, according to PTI.

Meanwhile, in its latest advisory, the weather department has predicted light to moderate rainfall in most places on the islands and very heavy rainfall in some places on Monday.

“Squally winds speed reaching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph are very likely to prevail over Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” the release said. “It would gradually increase becoming Gale winds speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph over the region from evening of 21st March.”