Very heavy rainfall likely in next 48 to 72 hours

The State government on Monday alerted Collectors of some southern and coastal districts to be on high alert in view of the approaching cyclonic storm Lehar which may cause very heavy rainfall in the next 48 to 72 hours.

State Relief Commissioner P.K. Mohapatra told journalists that the administration in Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput and Malkangiri were asked to keep a close watch on the situation as heavy rains were likely to occur due to the storm that was likely to cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Machilipatnam and Kalingapatnam near Kakinada around noon on November 28.

Plea to fishermen

Mr. Mohapatra also said that the fishermen who were out at sea were asked to return to safer places as the cyclonic over the Bay of Bengal was likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm.

Though the cyclonic storm was likely to trigger rainfall, the authorities were apprehensive about the rain causing damage to the paddy crop which was being harvested in many districts.

The meteorological department has asked two ports at Gopalpur and Paradip to hoist distance warning signals.

Fear-gripped

The latest warning has triggered fear among the people in coastal Odisha, particularly Ganjam district that was badly affected by the cyclone Phailin and consequent floods last month.