Agartala meteorological department officials said heavy rains and thunder in Tripura and adjoining northeastern states were because of the cyclonic storm Phailin, that advanced steadily, and is set to hit Odisha and Andhra Pradesh late Saturday evening. The coastal areas of the two states were evacuated in anticipation of the storm.
"Dampening the festivity, the intensity of the rains and thunder would likely get higher at night and continue into Sunday," a met department official told IANS.
In at least three places, puja pandals collapsed in heavy rain.
On the streets Saturday, there were fewer people. Saturday was also the Maha Astami day of Durga Puja. There were, however, those who were undeterred by the rain and went around the puja pandals with cheer and joy.
As in past years, at least 2,500 community and family Durga Pujas have been organised in the northeastern state of Tripura, where Durga Puja has been celebrated for the past 500 years. The erstwhile princely state has seen over 184 kings rule it for several hundred years, and the kings too have traditionally participated in the festivities.
Heavy security arrangements are in place, to ensure festivities pass peacefully.
--IANS (Posted on 12-10-2013)