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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Monday announced the closure of schools till April 20 in view of the prevailing heat wave in the state, where 19 deaths due to sun stroke have so far been reported.

Normal life continued to remain affected in Odisha as the mercury hovered above 40 degrees Celsius in most parts of the state.

A meteorological office release said 17 places in Odisha recorded temperatures above 40 degrees while Talcher, Sundargarh and Chandbali recorded above 43 degrees.

The state capital recorded a high of 45.8 degrees, the highest for the month since 1985 when it was 45 degrees on April 23 that year.

The MeT department said intense heat wave would continue for a week.

"Since there seems no respite from the heat wave, we decided that schools will remain closed till April 20. If examinations are scheduled to be held during these holidays, school authorities concerned will fix the timings in morning or evening hours," said Special Relief Commissioner PK Mohapatra.

He said the situation will be reviewed after April 20.

Bhubaneswar Met centre director Sarat Sahu said the temperature will rise further if sea winds blowing towards the land do not set in early.

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