The India Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rain, thundershowers and squally winds in southern coastal Kerala and Tamil Nadu over the next 48 hours. It said the formation of a depression over the southeast Arabian sea is likely to transform into a deep depression and move northwestwards.

The agency warned fishermen and residents against venturing into the sea off the coasts southern Tamil Nadu and Kerala coasts and the equatorial Indian Ocean, Gulf of Mannar, and Lakshadweep region.

The Kerala government has already taken emergency measures and asked coastal villages to remain alert. The Left government in the state was criticised in November 2017 for its alleged delayed action during Cyclone Ockhi, which claimed 31 lives.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called for a high-level meeting of several senior officials, including chief secretary Paul Antony, state police chief Lokanath Behera, fisheries principal secretary B Sreenivas, Meteorological Department director S Sudevan, The News Minute reported.

“The government has asked the chief secretary to evaluate the present status of the depression,” Vijayan said in a Facebook post. “We have been informed that the depression has deepened and it is now 390 km south-southeast of Thiruvananthapuram coast.”

Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Alapuzha, Thrissur in Kerala, and Kanyakumari, Tuticorin, Punalur, Madurai in Tamil Nadu, will see pre-Monsoon rains, Skymet Weather reported. Other parts of the state are likely to see moderate showers.

“Squally winds speed reaching 45 kmph to ­55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is very likely over Comorin­Maldive area, south Kerala and south Tamilnadu coasts,” the IMD said in its latest bulletin.