Heavy rain lashed many parts of Odisha since Wednesday evening, threatening Diwali celebrations on Thursday. Rain and thundershowers are forecast in coastal Odisha and in the interior parts of the state in the next 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department said. Heavy rainfall is likely in other parts of the state too.

Strong winds of up to 65 km per hour are expected along the coast, and fishermen have been advised not to go into the sea.

The rains were caused by a low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal, which intensified into a depression, PTI reported, quoting a meteorological department official.

The depression is likely to intensify more and cross the Odisha coast between Puri and Chandbali by Thursday night or Friday morning, said SC Sahu, the director of the IMD’s local centre.