Bhubaneswar: Incessant rain triggered a flood-like situation in parts of Odisha Tuesday, while the formation of two back-to-back low pressure areas have claimed at least eight lives in the last fortnight, a senior official said.
“Eight casualties have been reported from districts such as Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Koraput and Malkangiri in the last 15 days due to rain-related incidents,” Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), Bishnupada Sethi told reporters.
With more rainfall likely to occur over the next three days due to formation of a low pressure area over Bay of Bengal, the district administrations have been asked to be prepared to deal with possible flood, he said.
As heavy downpour battered the state for the last two days, several low-lying areas in districts including Boudh, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Kandhamal and Sonepur were submerged disrupting road connectivity, he said.
In Boudh district, Deogaon, Kamaghat and Gambaripadar villages were marooned after water from Tel river and Khadanga river inundated low-lying areas. The road link between Rubaliguda and Kantamal was snapped with high water levels on a considerable stretch of NH-41.
The situation was grim in Bolangir district too following submergence of several bridges and roads, and gushing water from Khadanga river entering Dharuapada and Tilakamala villages under Gudbhela block.
Many parts of Kandhamal district were severely affected when a temporary culvert was washed away near Bataguda, snapping road communication with Kalahandi and Rayagada districts, they said.
The SRC said that Karlamunda in Kalahandi recorded a maximum of 608 mm rainfall since Monday, inundating several areas.
While some people have been evacuated from marooned areas in Kalahandi and Bolangir districts, a NDRF team was kept ready for rescue and relief operation in Malkangiri, if necessary, he said.
In view of the inclement weather, schools have been closed Tuesday in Kalahandi, Nuapada, Bolangir and Bargarh districts, an official said.
Train services have been temporarily suspended on Sambalpur-Titlagarh section due to waterlogging on the tracks at some places, an East Coast Railway (ECoR) Spokesperson said. In view of the safety of passengers, movement of trains has been temporarily suspended on the route, following which several trains are presently stranded at different railway stations, he said.
Mentioning that district collectors have been asked to remain prepared to deal with possible flood, the SRC added that the administrative machinery is prepared to meet any eventuality.
Field officials are prepared to evacuate people from vulnerable areas to safe shelters, he said adding arrangements have been made for providing adequate food, safe drinking water, lights, health and sanitation facilities at relief centres.
According to the meteorological centre, the low pressure area over northwest Bay of Bengal is likely to trigger light to moderate rain or thundershower in most parts of Odisha for the next two days.
Heavy to very heavy rain may lash parts of south interior Odisha, and Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur and Bargarh districts Wednesday, it said.
Heavy rainfall is also likely at isolated places over Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Gajapati, Ganjam, Nayagarh, Khordha, Puri, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Angul and Dhenkanal.
Squally weather with wind speed exceeding 45 kmph is likely to prevail, with sea condition being rough to very rough along and off the Odisha coast, the MeT centre said. Fishermen have been advised against venturing into the sea till Wednesday.
Meanwhile, officials said a warning has been issued to people living in the vicinity of Hirakud dam as water level in the barrage has crossed 616 feet against the full reservoir capacity of 630 feet. In view of the situation, water would be released from the dam August 14 through sluice gates, the dam’s chief engineer K Nayak said.