The India Meteorological Department has warned of heavy to very heavy rain in some places in Kerala and Lakshadweep on Sunday because of a depression moving in the southeast and east-central Arabian Sea. The depression is “very likely” to intensify into a cyclonic storm by Monday morning.

The depression has moved west-northwest since midnight and is likely to move towards South Oman and the Yemen coast in the next five days, the IMD said. It was centred 900 km west-northwest of Minicoy island of Lakshadweep early Sunday.

Following the cyclone warning, the state disaster management agency in Kerala and the National Disaster Response Force opened a special coordination cell that is functioning out of the government secretariat, said the Kerala chief minister’s office.

The government is also closely monitoring the water levels in various dams in the state. Shutters around 22 dams, including Cheruthoni, part of the Idukki reservoir, Malamapuzha, Neyyar, Kallada and Pamba, have been opened to release water as a precautionary measure, PTI reported.

Fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea. According to The Indian Express, 1,200 fishing boats have been anchored off Malpe in Karnataka because of bad weather. Seventeen other state fishing boats, including those from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, have also taken refuge at the harbour. Heavy rainfall is also expected in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The Indian Coast Guard has also been put on high alert.

On Saturday, the Kerala Meteorological Department withdrew a red alert it had issued for Idukki and Malappuram districts but also issued an orange alert for five districts. The Indian Navy’s Southern Naval Command has deployed ships and Dornier aircraft off the Kerala coast and L&M Islands. The Navy is broadcasting warnings to fishing boats at sea in several languages.