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Heavy rain batters Odisha; flood-like situation in some areas

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Heavy downpour triggered by a deep depression, which crossed Odisha coast, battered several parts of the state on Wednesday creating a flood-like situation and disrupting train services in some areas in southern region, officials said.

At least three wagons of a goods train derailed in Ambadola station and several trains in the Rayagada-Titlagarh section have been cancelled or diverted due to heavy water logging and washing away of ballast of 100 metres of tracks, a railway official said.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said that torrential rainfall submerged vast areas in Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Gajapati and Ganjam districts.

The six districts received more than 100 mm of average rainfall since Tuesday, the SRC said adding Kandhamal recorded average rainfall of 183.3 mm, while Rayagada got 163.4 mm, Malkangiri 129.3 mm, Koraput 113.9 mm, Kalahandi 109.4 mm and Ganjam 104.6 mm.

In nine districts, average rainfall stood between 50 mm and 100 mm, Sethi said adding that the state recorded an average rainfall of 57.5 mm during the period.

Three blocks were pounded by more than 300 mm rainfall each. While Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district received 382.6 mm rainfall, Kashipur in Rayagada got 317.4 mm and Kotagarh in Kandhamal district recorded 308 mm rainfall, he said.

"Incessant rainfall has created flood like situation in some areas and the government is keeping a close watch. The administration in affected districts are in a state of high alert to deal with any situation," the SRC said.

Malkangiri and Rayagada districts, in particular, are facing a flood-like situation, officials said. The incessant rain has snapped road link between Malkangiri town and Jeypore, besides affecting road connectivity in Balimela, Kalimela, Motu and Padia, they said.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Centre here said the deep depression over northwest Bay of Bengal moved north-north westwards with a speed of about 13 kmph and crossed north Odisha-West Bengal coasts close to north of Balasore on Wednesday afternoon.

Under its influence, moderate rain or thundershowers occurred in most places in Odisha and heavy to very heavy rain was received in some areas, mostly in the southern region. Heavy to very heavy rain is likely to pound several areas till August 9, it said.

As many as 21 shelter centres and relief camps have been opened in Malkangiri district and people from marooned areas are being evacuated to these places, Malkangiri District Collector Manish Agarwal said.

The water level of the Sileru, Saberi and Saptadhara rivers, flowing in the district, was rising. In view of the heavy rainfall, all schools in Malkangiri district were closed on Wednesday, Agarwal said.

The situation was grim in Rayagada district with the water level in Vansadhara river rising alarmingly and the rain water inundating vast swathes, officials said.

As the downpour washed away soil and ballast below the tracks between Dolkalu and Ambadola stations in Rayagada-Titlagarh section, at least six trains were cancelled, eight diverted and half-a-dozen trains were partially cancelled on Wednesday, an East Coast Railway (ECoR) spokesman said.

Three wagons of a goods train derailed and were damaged due to gushing waters at Ambadola. Relief trains have been rushed to the spot and the authorities are waiting for the water level to recede.

Around 100 metres of ballast had been washed away and water is still flowing on the tracks, he said adding restoration work will begin as soon as the water recedes.

Two track patrolmen - S Naidu and M Ramana - who sounded an alert will be awarded, the spokesperson said.

In Kandhamal district, life came to a grinding halt following incessant rain, particularly in the hilly areas of Daringbadi, Tumudibandha and Kotagarh blocks under Balliguda sub-division, an official said.

Road links between Phulbani and Boudh, Phulbani and Kalahandi, Phulbani and Rayagada were disrupted at many places due to flash floods which washed away several low level bridges and culverts in Balliguda area, he said.

A report from Kalahandi district said several villages in Thuamul Rampur and Lanjigarh blocks were affected due to torrential rain since Tuesday.

Heavy to very heavy rain is likely to lash a few places in Gajapati, Boudh, Sonepur, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Cuttack, Dhenkanal and Nayagarh districts, it said.

The MeT Centre also forecast heavy rain in some areas in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Khurda, Angul, Rayagada, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts till Thursday.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall may occur at a few places in Sonepur, Jharsuguda, Angul, Dhenkanal, Kalahandi, Bargarh and Sundargarh districts till Thursday, it said. Fishermen in the coastal areas of Odisha and West Bengal have been advised not to venture into the sea till August 10.

The MeT department has also advised hoisting of Local Cautionary Signal Number Three (LC-III) at all the ports in Odisha.

In view of the weather forecast, the SRC on Tuesday issued an advisory and cautioned about the likelihood of flood and waterlogging in different parts of the districts where heavy to very heavy rainfall has been predicted.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, August 07 2019. 20:00 IST