Severe Cyclone Asani weakened to a cyclonic storm on Wednesday as it barrelled towards north coastal Andhra Pradesh and came within 34 km of Narsapur in the state, packing wind speed of 85 km per hour and bringing heavy rains to the region, the weather office said here.

The weather system was expected to move away from the coast and further weaken into a depression by Thursday, it said.

“It is very likely to move nearly northwards for next few hour and recurve slowly north-northeastwards along Narsapur, Yanam, Kakinada, Tuni and Visakhapatnam coasts during noon to evening on Wednesday and emerge into west central Bay of Bengal off North Andhra Pradesh coasts by night,” the India Meteorological Department said in its national bulletin.

It is likely to weaken gradually into a depression by 12th May morning, it said.

The weather office has been monitoring the cyclonic storm since the first signs of its formation emerged last week. It has issued 30 national bulletins since May 7, predicting the track of the cyclone and alerting civic administrations about the possible damage it could cause.

The weather office had asked fishermen to suspend fishing operations in the region as sea condition is likely to be high over west central and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal till Wednesday evening and very rough to rough over the same region thereafter Thursday.

It said storm surge of height about 0.5 m above astronomical tide is likely to inundate low lying areas of Krishna, East & West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh and Yanam of UT of Puducherry.

According to the weather office, the cyclone could damage thatched huts, cause minor damage to power and communication lines, harm paddy and other standing crops in Krishna, East and West Godavari, and Vishakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh, and Yanam in Puducherry.