BHUBANESWAR/RAYAGADA/BHAWANIPATNA : Even as the frothing and fuming Nagavali showed signs of calming down on Monday, close to 40,000 people found themselves hit by the floods in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts a day after heavy rains lashed the western and southern pockets of the State.While death toll in the deluge stood at two, hundreds lost their belongings to the flood. Both the casualties were reported in Kalahandi whereas Rayagada borne the brunt of the flash floods.
Air-dropping of food packets started in flood-hit Rayagada district where the situation showed signs of improvement but the Government remained cautious with the weather office forecasting more rains by the low pressure formed off the coast.
The system is set to become well-marked and chances of it turning into a depression cannot be ruled out. Under the impact of the system, rains lashed many parts of the State and more showers are in the offing. Due to the inclement weather, two Indian Air Force choppers could not take off from Jagdalpur and Raipur.
Two blocks in Rayagada and seven in adjoining Kalahandi were identified as the worst-affected and the State Government operated free kitchen centres to tend to the affected villagers.More than 50 villages in Rayagada and another 20 in Kalyansinghpur blocks were badly hit, the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC)’s office said. As many as five villagers were injured due to wall collapse and were under treatment. State highways and other roads suffered extensive damage.Two units of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and three teams of National Disaster Response Force were engaged in shifting the flood-affected to safer places.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who reviewed the situation in the morning, said the administration was providing food, medical help and other support to the affected.Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said all those trapped in the flood water have been rescued. About 4,000 people were evacuated and lodged in 15 temporary shelters where cooked food was provided from free kitchens. Emergent relief has been provided to over 5,000 villagers by the Rayagada administration while the Naval helicopter made three sorties to airdrop food packets in the affected areas. All schools of Kalyansinghpur, Rayagada and Kasipur Blocks have been closed for 3 days.
Kalahandi’s Thuamul-Rampur, Kalampur, Koksara and Jaipatna blocks suffered extensive damage due to flood in Hati and Tel rivers. More than 10,500 people in 10 villages of seven blocks were hit by the flash floods. More than 2,000 Bolbom devotees were stranded by the floods in Tel at Belkhandi. Police took them to safety.Of the two persons who died, one had perished in a landslide while the other drowned in flood waters. Three villagers suffered injuries.
The district administration opened free kitchen services while two ODRAF units were engaged in rescue and relief work. At least 17 villagers were rescued from Taratikili village under Bhawanipatna block. All schools of the district have been closed.The Health and Family Welfare Department opened 15 health camps in Rayagada where doctors and paramedic staff were pressed into service.
40,000 people affected by floods in Rayagada and Kalahandi
lTwo blocks in Rayagada and seven in Kalahandi the worst-affected
lFree kitchens opened and food packets air-dropped
lODRAF and NDRF engaged in shifting people to safer places
lLow pressure in the Bay set to become well-marked and more rains in the offing