BHUBANESWAR: At least nine people were killed in the State due to heavy rain triggered by the formation of two low-pressure areas in the Bay of Bengal, while several areas in some western districts remained submerged in rain water on Tuesday.
The district headquarters towns of Balangir and Bhawanipatna were worst hit due to incessant rainfall for the last two days with major parts of the two urban areas remaining underwater. The unprecedented rainfall in Balangir and Kalahandi districts has left the administration struggling to restore normalcy as water is yet to recede from major parts rendering hundreds of people marooned.
The heavy deluge has affected train services in parts of Western Odisha as rainwater has submerged tracks in some places. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the situation in Balangir, Kalahandi, Boudh, Subarnapur and Kandhamal districts at a high-level meeting at the Secretariat here. The Chief Minister who interacted with the collectors through video conference enquired about their requirement.
Besides, collectors of Khurda, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts have been alerted and advised to strengthen river bank patrolling as sluice gates of Hirakud Dam will be opened on Wednesday. In a letter to all district collectors, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) BP Sethi said due to heavy rainfall in the lower catchments of Mahanadi river, about 11.5 lakh cusec of flood water is likely to be discharged at Mundali on August 15 between 6 am and 10 am. This is likely to cause medium flood in Mahanadi river and its distributaries. Collectors of the districts concerned have been instructed to take necessary steps to encounter the possible situation in their respective districts.
“Nine deaths have been reported from Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Koraput, Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts due to rain-related incidents recently,” the SRC told mediapersons after review of the situation. Three deaths have been reported from Kalahandi while two people were swept away in rain water in Kandhamal district.
One person in Malkangiri district died in wall collapse while another succumbed to snake bite, Sethi said and added that one person each died due to wall collapse in Nabarangpur and Koraput districts. However, all major rivers, including Mahanadi, in the State were flowing below danger mark and warning level, he said.
According to the situation report released by the Revenue and Disaster Management department, 17 villages of Karlamunda, M Rampur and Kesinga blocks have been severely affected in Kalahandi district.
Road communication in Sonepur district has been severely affected as culverts at several places in Sonepur, Tarbha, Dunguripali and Birmaharajpur blocks have been washed away.In Kandhamal district, diversion near Tumudibandh connecting to Kalahandi district has been washed away.
While fire service personnel were deployed in many areas, seven teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) were engaged in Boudh, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada and Kandhamal districts, the SRC said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced seven days gratuitous relief for the affected people of Kalahandi, Boudh, Kandhamal, Sonepur and Balangir districts. While adults will be provided Rs 60 per day, each child will get Rs 45. These districts have been severely affected by the recent heavy rainfall and consequent floods.