Friday, 25 October 2013

Odisha: 10 people killed, 1.5 lakh others affected due to flash floods

Ten people have been killed and 1.5 lakh others have been affected due to flash floods in Odisha. Around 129 villages were flooded due to the continuous rain for four days in Ganjam district of Odisha. The One Day Cricket match between India and Australia which is to be held on Saturday in Cuttack is likely to be cancelled. The Government of Odisha said that schools and colleges in all 12 flood affected districts will be closed till Monday. Train services from Khurda to Vishakhapatnam have been badly hit.

According to the special relief commissioner, PK Mohapatra, "Following heavy rain for four days, water level in rivers in south Odisha are above danger level and have entered many villages". The blocks affected in flash flood include Chikiti, Hinjili, Sana Khemundi, Patrapur, Dharakote, Aska, Parlakhemundi, Mohana. Some areas of Gajapati district were also reported to have been affected. He added that the collectors of all coastal districts have been directed to evacuate people from low-lying areas. Two persons have died in wall collapse due to rain in Khallikote and Rangeilunda since yesterday, district emergency officer Mahendra Panda said. About 40,000 marooned people had been evacuated from Patrapur, Sana Khemundi, Chikiti, Digappahandi, Hinjili, Sheragada and Purushottampur in Ganjam, he said. Another 10,000 people were evacuated from Gajapati district, the special relief commissioner's office said. With rivers like Rusikulya, Bansadhara and Ghodahada rising due to non-stop rain for the last four days, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed the administration to provide cooked food to the people in relief camps, Mohapatra said.

"The flash flood has hampered relief and restoration work in places worst-affected by the cyclone," Revenue and Disaster Management minister SN Patro said. Some evacuated people have already been sent to relief camps following cyclone Phailin that struck Gopalpur on October 12, with the state government deploying personnel of NDRF, OFRAF and fire services for evacuation, Patro said. Another 80,000 houses have collapsed in the torrential rain, Mohapatra said, adding that the total number of houses damaged in both cyclone and flood in Ganjam has risen to 3.40 lakh.

Meanwhile, the local unit of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy rain in central and interior districts. A well marked low pressure area now lay over coastal Andhra Pradesh and adjoining areas of Telangana and Rayalaseema area, the latest bulletin said. Rain or thundershower would occur at most places over Odisha in next the 24 hours, it added. 

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