Army, IAF help sought to tackle floods

Bhubaneswar: Heavy rains triggered flash floods in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts and claimed one life, prompting the state government to seek the help of the Army and the Air Force to rescue the marooned persons. The State urged the Centre to provide four helicopters to intensify relief and rescue operations.
After holding a review meeting here with officials, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said due to continuous downpour, the water level of Nagabali and Kalyani rivers had risen and many places of Kalyansinghpur block in Rayagada district and Kalahandi district were inundated.
The state government sought the help of the Army and the Indian Air Force to evacuate the marooned villagers. IAF choppers will be used in Kalyansinghpur block, where people are trapped on rooftops of submerged houses.
The Chief Minister said while the situation is being closely monitored by senior officials, the Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force, the Central Reserve Police Force and fire services units have been rushed to expedite rescue operations.
Kalahandi district collector Anjan Kumar Manik said one person from Thuamul Rampur block died while rescuing landslide affected villagers in the district.
Several bridges, including a railway over-bridge, were washed away in the floods caused by incessant rains in the two districts. Besides, major roads were damaged by floodwaters.
‘‘We are closely monitoring the situation. We are trying to evacuate the stranded people as several areas have been cut off and people have taken shelter on rooftops,’’ said Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi.

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