Bhubaneswar: At a time when Odisha is getting itself ready for the world famous Ratha Yatra of Lord Jagannath, the coastal state is witnessing heavy to very heavy rainfall. The regional center of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that this situation will continue for at least next 24 hour, effectively giving a hard time to the pilgrims and the administration. It has also issued ‘Red Warning’ for Jajpur, Kendrapara, Angul, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur, Sonepur, Boudh & Bargarh districts as Low-Pressure area over North West Bay of Bengal has intensified into Well Marked Low Pressure.
Speaking to the reporters, Duty Officer of Bhubaneswar Meteorological Department Charan Behera informed, “Heavy rain across the state will continue for at least next 24 hours. After that, we can expect a slight reduction in the intensity of rainfall. Until now, some specific areas like Chandbali (122.3 mm), Bolangir (92.6 mm), Sonepur (70.0 mm), Cuttack (55.4 mm), Bhubaneswar (70.8 mm) Sambalpur (58.6 mm), Angul (60 mm) and Hirakud (50.2 mm) etc have received heavy to very heavy rainfall.”
Rathajatra or Chariot festival is an annual festival where deities Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra come out of their temple to visit Devi Gundicha temple on a wooden temple-shaped chariot. This procession attracts over a million Hindu pilgrims every year.