Heavy Rain Triggered By Low Pressure Claims 1 Life, Throws Life Out Of Gear In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Heavy downpour triggered by a low pressure has thrown life out of gear in several areas of Odisha on Thursday as rain water submerged many places, including roads and bridges, while one person died due to house collapse.

Incessant rain wreaked havoc in several districts, including Malkangiri, Kandhamal, Balangir, Koraput, Gajapati, Kalahandi, Rayagada and Nabarangpur, as vast areas were inundated by water.

One death was reported due to rain-related incidents. One person died after the wall of his fragile house reportedly collapsed on him following heavy rain at Dumermunda village in Lanjigarh area of Kalahandi district, sources said.

Over 15,000 people in around 60 villages were affected only in Koraput, Malkangiri and Kandhamal districts where a large number of houses suffered extensive damage due to heavy downpour over the last two days.

A report from Malkangiri said that a bridge in MV-96 on National Highway No 326 at Kalimela was submerged with flood water. Water was flowing three to four feet above the bridge, crippling vehicular movement on the route.

As road communication between Malkangiri and Motu was snapped, hundreds of vehicles on both sides of the road near MV-96 bridge remained stranded.

Similar situation was witnessed in Kandhamal district where small bridges collapsed at some places and roads remained submerged, disrupting road communication.

A bridge over Salunki River connecting Nadikhanda Sahi and Dakapala was submerged, while a kuchha road at Ratamaska under Phiringia block was washed away and a bridge over Katramala canal collapsed due to the heavy rain.

Many rivers and rivulets in the district were overflowing because of the rain fury. Mobile network got snapped at several places in the district as the towers have become defunct due to the rain-induced power outage.

In view of incessant rain, the administration in Balangir has declared holiday for all schools and Anganwadi centres in the district today.

However, senior officials ruled out any fear of flood in the state due to torrential rain. Engineer-in-Chief of Water Resources Department, Bhakta Ranjan Mohanty said the state government is ready for any situation. The upper catchment areas of Mahanadi river received an average rainfall of around 37 mm. A peak inflow of around 2,00,000 cusecs is expected into Hirakud dam, where ten sluice gates have been opened to release excess water.

The water level at Hirakud now stands at 6 28.77 feet against the full reservoir capacity of 630 feet. The water flow at Khairmal is around 1,27,000 cusecs and it is around 92,000 cusecs at Mundali. The authorities expect a peak flow of around 4,50,000 to 5,00,000 cusecs of floodwater at Khiarmal and subsequently in Mundali.

The rainfall situation is being constantly monitored and if necessary more sluice gates of Hirakud dam will be opened, but there is no flood situation in in the state, Mohanty said.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Satyabrata Sahu reviewed the situation with senior officials of several districts today and asked them to take necessary steps to meet any eventuality.  Districts under Red/ Orange/ Yellow warning have been asked to keep administrative machinery ready to face any eventuality. Instruction was also issued to provide polythene sheets and make necessary arrangements for accommodation of rain-affected people in places where houses have been damaged, the sources added.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), Odisha recorded an average rainfall of 49.3 mm in the last 24 hours, while the average rainfall recorded in the state from September 1 to 14 was 189.9 mm against the September monthly average of 231.9 mm,

Balangir block in Balangir district recorded the highest rainfall of 215.0 mm in the state during the last 24 hours, it said.

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