BHUBANESWAR/NABARANGPUR:As thousands of villagers continued to seek succour in the flood-hit Rayagada and Kalahandi districts where intermittent rains marred relief operations, Nabarangpur district was staring at deluge after pounding showers led Indravati river to surge.The State Government was planning to evacuate over 10,000 villagers from Kosagumuda block where several villages were inundated. The entire attention of the administration was on the block which is located on the downstream of the river.
At least 120 elderly persons had to be forcefully shifted from Bhatbasuri village while pregnant women were also being taken to safety.At least five blocks of the district received heavy rainfall in the last 12 hours. Kosagumuda recorded 174 mm rain, followed by 169 mm at Nandanhandi, 142 at Tentulikhunti and 135 mm at Daugam. Indravati river had overflown its banks and submerged low-lying areas following the heavy showers.Seven blocks including Nabarangpur, Nandahandi, Tentulikhunti, Papadahandi, Kosagumuda, Chandahandi and Dabugan were affected by the flash floods. One ODRAF unit from Koraput was stationed at Nabarangpur for relief and rescue operation.
In neighbouring Kalahandi, the district administration was preparing to evacuate the entire Kuten village in Junagarh block as it was facing inundation by Indravati. The river was rising at an alarming rate fuelling Hati river which was likely to overtop the lower bridge near Junagarh.
Another southern district Malkanagiri also received incessant rainfall in Kalimela and Podia blocks which snapped road communication between Malkanigiri and Kalimela, Kalimela and Podia. A child in Sodigud village under Motu tehsil died due to wall collapse in Podia block, the Special Relief Commissioner’s office said.
With the rains continuing to lash, at least five districts had borne the brunt of the flash flood which has affected a population of about 80,000, including Cuttack which recorded 154 mm rain on Tuesday. However, the situation in Rayagada continued to be grim with thousands remaining waterlogged in Kalyansinghpur and Rayagada though the showers had reduced in intensity. Over 35,000 people in these two blocks are stated to be hit by the floods. Collector Guha Poonam Tapas Kumar visited the flood-hit areas to take stock of the situation.
The State Government air-dropped over four quintals of dry food by a Dronier aircraft of Coast Guard in Niyamagiri area. A Naval chopper from Visakhapatnam made three sorties and over 1000 food packets were distributed in Kalyansinghpur and Majhiguda blocks while 4000 food packets were distributed by road. Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi directed Collectors of Rayagada, Kalahandi and Nabarangpur to provide gratuitous relief and financial assistance for utensils and clothes to the flood-affected.
With 43 locations under Cuttack Municipal Corporation water-logged, the local administration struggled to tackle the situation. As many as 230 pump sets were installed by CMC and another 16 were used by JICA for drainage of water.
Chopper makes emergency landing
Koraput: A Pawan Hans chopper made an emergency landing at Phulbeda junction on the road connecting Koraput with Dasmantpur due to inclement weather on Tuesday afternoon. The chopper was flying from Bhubaneswar to a BSF camp in Koraput with four persons on board when it had to lower the flight height due to bad weather. As there was no plain ground near Mundaguda village and farm fields were inundated, the pilot made an emergency landing on the road. The chopper landed safely. Villagers, police from Koraput Sadar police station and BSF personnel rushed to the spot. The chopper is scheduled to take off from Koraput to Visakhapatnam on Wednesday if the climate is favourable. Traffic between Koraput and Dasmantpur was hit with the chopper on the road.