Cyclone Midhili: Rain lashes NE states; setback for Meghalaya’s Cherry Blossom Festival

Cyclone Midhili: Rain lashes NE states; setback for Meghalaya’s Cherry Blossom Festival

Shillong/Aizawl/Agartala, Nov 17 (PTI) Governments in various northeastern states sounded alerts following heavy rain on Friday, as a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm, officials said. The first day of Meghalaya's Cherry Blossom Festival suffered a setback due to the bad weather, while states such as Mizoram, Tripura and Assam witnessed rainfall of varied intensity.

Rain, accompanied by chilly winds, has been witnessed by the states since Friday morning, and the same is likely to continue on Saturday, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Cyclone 'Midhili' will cross the Bangladesh coast on Friday night or in the early hours of November 18.

The organisers of Cherry Blossom Festival in Meghalaya have announced that the first of the three-day event has been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

Tourism Minister Paul Lyngdoh was to inaugurate the 3rd edition of the festival at Madan Kurkalang in Ri-Bhoi district.

The organisers said the Day-1 ticket holders will receive complimentary access on any one of the remaining two days of the festival, while those holding season passes will receive a refund for the Friday show.

Heavy rain battered Mizoram's capital Aizawl and other parts of the state on Friday affecting normal life. The streets of Aizawl wore a deserted look as people stayed indoors and only a few vehicles were seen on roads.

District administrations and district disaster management authorities of Mizoram in notices asked people to be alert and take precautionary measures against any eventuality that can be caused due to the rain.

The IMD forecast 51 mm of rain between the mornings of November 17 and 18 in Aizawl district. There are forecasts of heavy rain also in districts such as Champhai (52 mm), Kolasib (58 mm), Lawngtlai (52 mm) and Mamit (56 mm).

In Tripura, a red alert has been sounded in four districts as the state witnessed moderate rainfall caused by the cyclonic storm since Friday morning, an official of the state disaster management authority said.

“District magistrates of Sepahijala, Dhalai, Gomati and South have been requested for taking all necessary steps,” disaster management officer Sanath Das told PTI.

The Met office recorded 87 mm of rainfall in the state capital Agartala since Thursday evening.

Several places in Assam, including Guwahati, have also witnessed rainfall and chilly winds since Friday morning..

The cyclonic storm will be moving past the Sunderbans before making landfall on the Bangladesh coast with a maximum wind speed of 80 kmph during Friday night or early morning of Saturday morning, the IMD said. PTI COR/JOP/PS/TR NN

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