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Rain subsides, Odisha limping back to normalcy

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Rain-battered south Odisha, where fears of flood loomed large, was limping back to normalcy on Thursday with rainfall subsiding and water gradually receding from submerged areas, officials said.

A man was killed and his son went missing after being swept away in the gushing waters, while crossing a hilly stream in Belghar area of Kandhamal district, they said.

The body of Dina Majhi (48) of Mundimaska village was recovered by research teams on Thursday, and efforts are on to trace his son Purander Majhi, Kandhamal District Emergency Officer Pradyumna Mandal said.

The deep depression that triggered heavy rain in most parts of Odisha, weakened into a depression and lay centred over north Chhattisgarh and neighbourhood, the meteorological centre here said in a special bulletin.

It is likely to move west-northwestwards and weaken gradually in the next 48 hours, said H R Biswas, director, Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre.

Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marndi said that the situation is under control in all the rain- affected districts, including Malkangiri and Rayagada.

Five districts of the state had recorded an average rainfall of more than 100 mm in the last 24 hours ended at 8.30 am on Thursday, he said.

Jharsuguda recorded 207.2 mm rainfall, Kalahandi 150.7 mm, Bolangir 117.2 mm, Jajpur 115.4 mm and Koraput 110.6 mm rainfall during the period.

Two blocks in Kalahandi district had recorded rainfall of over 300 mm, while nine blocks registered showers between 200 mm and 300 mm, and 53 blocks between 100 mm and 200 mm.

Seven teams of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) have been deployed - one each in the districts of Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati, Kandhamal and Kalahandi, the minister said.

With heavy rain lashing several areas, a flood-like situation had emerged on Wednesday. Road and rail traffic was disrupted in some areas of south Odisha, the officials said.

With the intensity of rainfall decreasing, the situation in Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Gajapati and Ganjam districts has improved considerably, they said.

The MeT Centre forecast heavy rain in several districts including Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Nuapada, Bolangir, Kalahandi and Naharangpur till Friday.

The water level in river Vansadhara at Gunupur had risen to 85.32 metre on Wednesday against the danger level of 84.6 metre. It receded to 83.09 metre Thursday.

The Special Relief Commissioner's (SRC) office said 130 people in Tumudibandh (74) and Kotagada (56) blocks in Kandhamal district have been evacuated to safe shelters.

In Malkangiri, rainfall has almost stopped and water is receding, the officials said, adding, roads to Jeypore, Kalimela and Sukma are now open.

As many as 2,172 people have been evacuated in six blocks (Malkangiri, Khairput, Mathili, Korukonda, Kalimela and Podia) to 24 shelters. Free kitchens have also been opened for them, with medical teams attending to the relief centers, the SRC said.

All schools in Malkangiri district have been ordered to remain closed on Thursday, District Collector Manish Agarwal said.

In Kalahandi district, rainfall has stopped in all blocks and river water levels are receding. Four teams have been deployed to assess the situation in the block, where no adverse situation is reported, the officials said.

However, train services remained affected for the second day on Thursday, with the Railways cancelling at least six trains for the day and three others on Friday, besides divertiing a large number of passenger and express trains running on this route, an official said.

"Due to heavy rain last night, restoration was badly hampered," an East Coast Railway (ECoR) spokesperson said, adding, efforts are on to restore both the tracks by Friday.

While the intensity of rain is likely to decrease further from Friday, the MeT centre advised fishermen in the coastal areas of Odisha and West Bengal to not venture into the sea till August 10.

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

First Published: Thu, August 08 2019. 20:15 IST