BARIPADA/KEONJHAR: Incessant rains in the last 24 hours has affected communication across Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts. In Mayurbhanj, vehicular traffic between Baripada and Jaleswar in Balasore district at Rasgovindpur was affected on Saturday after a portion of the road was submerged in flood water.
In Baripada town, residents of low-lying Madhuban along with ward nos 7, 8 and 9 were shifted to safer places after the water level of Budhabalanga river started rising and inundated the localities. Maheswar Mukhi, a resident of ward no 7 said the water level of Budhabalanga river started swelling and entered the settlement. Collector Vineet Bhardwaj, SP Rishikesh Khilari and other officials rushed to Madhuban to take stock of the situation.
Superintending engineer of Mayurbhanj Irrigation Division, Prasad Panda said the water level of the river is 38.54 metre against the danger mark of 30.90 metre. Heavy rain also affected rail services in the district. Sources said the Bhubaneswar-Bangiriposi Superfast Express was stopped for several hours at Bangiriposi after a tree fell on an electric cable at Baripada station. The track was cleared by a technical team from Balasore.
Meanwhile, Baripada tehsildar Bikram Kishore Parida said four ODRAF teams have been stationed in the town to evacuate residents from low-lying areas. Several residents from affected localities have already been shifted to safer places. The district administration has arranged accommodation for affected people in two schools and a flood shelter at Madhuban. The district received 3,251 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours. Baripada block received the highest rainfall of 285 mm followed by Bahalda at 186 mm.
In Keonjhar, traffic at NH-49 came to a grinding halt at Judia Ghat after a huge stone fell on the road. The portion of the highway, that connects Kolkata and Mumbai, remains vulnerable due to rain and frequent landslides posing a grave risk to motorists. The district received heavy rain on the day and the Baitarani river at Anandapur is now flowing close to the danger mark. The river is flowing at 37.45 metre against the danger mark of 38.36 metre.
Collector Ashish Thakare said senior officials have been deployed at Hatadihi, Anandapur and Ghasipura blocks to address any eventuality. One team of NDRF and two of ODRAF have been deployed in the district.
Rains lash 18 locations in STR
Mayurbhanj: Around 18 locations of Similipal Tiger Reserve received at least 2,167.27 mm rainfall with Nawana North recording the highest rainfall of 196.40 mm within the last 24 hours, said Deputy Director STR, South, Somrat Gowda. Other affected locations within STR include Pithabata North, Barehipani and Kabatghai.