BHUBANESWAR/NABARANGPUR: Pounding rains deluged yet more areas in Odisha Tuesday apart from hampering relief operations in already flooded districts. Thousands of villagers awaited evacuation in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts while the Indravati river menaced Nabarangpur district.
Of grave concern to the administration is the Koshagumuda block downstream of the river where the government may have to evacuate over 10,000 people. Among them are at least 120 elderly persons and pregnant women in Bhatbasuri village.
At least five blocks in Nabarangpur district received heavy rainfall in the last 12 hours: Kosagumuda recorded 174 mm, Nandanhandi 169 mm, Tentulikhunti 142 mm and Daugam 135 mm. At several places here, the Indravati has overflown its banks and submerged low-lying areas.
Seven blocks including Nabarangpur, Nandahandi, Tentulikhunti, Papadahandi, Kosagumuda, Chandahandi and Dabugan were affected by flashfloods. One ODRAF unit from Koraput has been stationed at Nabarangpur for relief and rescue operations.
In Kalahandi district, the administration was preparing to evacuate the entire Kuten village in Junagarh block, also besieged by the Indravati. The river was rising at an alarming rate, fuelling floods in the Hati river which looked likely to submerge a low bridge near Junagarh.
In Malkanagiri district too, incessant rainfall in Kalimela and Podia blocks snapped road communications between Malkanigiri and Kalimela, Kalimela and Podia. One child died in a wall collapse in Sodigud village in Motu tehsil in Podia block, the special relief commissioner’s office said.
At least five districts have borne the brunt of flashfloods, affecting a population of about 80,000.
Although the rain was less intense in Rayagada, the situation there continued to be grim with extensive waterlogging reported from Kalyansinghpur and Rayagada blocks. Over 35,000 people in these two blocks are stated to be affected by floods.
The state government engaged a Coast Guard Dornier aircraft to air-drop over four quintals of dry food in the Niyamagiri area. A Navy chopper from Vishakhapatnam made three sorties and dropped 1000 food packets in Kalyansinghpur and Majhiguda blocks. Some 4000 food packets were dispatched by road.
Special relief commissioner Bishnupada Sethi has directed the collectors of Rayagada, Kalahandi and Nabarangpur to provide gratuitous relief and financial assistance for utensils and clothes in flood-affected areas.
Cuttack city was pounded by 154 mm of rain Tuesday, which left 43 locations under the local municipality waterlogged. As many as 245 pump sets were installed to drain the floodwater.