Incessant and heavy rains since Sunday morning have left at least three people dead and thousands marooned in Odisha as rain water inundated vast stretches of land throwing life completely out of gear. Two persons died due to wall collapse in Kendrapara while a 29-year-old man drowned in a canal in Khurda district.
Even as the state continues to grapple with the after effects of torrential rains over the last 48 hours, the IMD has predicted more rains in the state in the days ahead. A depression is likely to form over north Bay of Bengal on September 17, which would intensify and move west north-westwards and reach the north Odisha coast the next morning, IMD Director General Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said. Under its impact, there would be a fresh spell of rains in the state, he said.
As heavy rains pounded coastal areas on Sunday and Monday, several rivers are in spate, raising the spectre of flash floods while communication remained cut off in many areas as roads were flooded. The water level in Baitarani river crossed the danger level of 17.83 meters at Akhuapada this morning while Brahmani and Budhabalanga continue to swell. With heavy rains predicted in the upper reaches of Mahanadi, there is a possibility of floods in this river, considered the lifeline of Odisha.
The pilgrim town of Puri broke an 87-year-old record having received 352 mm of rain in 24 hours since Sunday morning. Bhubaneswar, with 231 mm, eclipsed a 63-year-old record while Cuttack received 211 mm. Rain water inundated several residential areas in all three cities while drains have been overflowing due to excess rain water. People in scores of villages in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur districts remain marooned while thousands of acres of agricultural land have been submerged in these districts.
While rains have receded somewhat in the coastal areas since this morning, western Odisha is being pounded by incessant rains since last night as the depression moved west west-northwards towards Chhattisgarh. The weather department has predicted heavy rains in the western districts all through today.
Twelve trains were cancelled while the routes of eight others were diverted after the engine and nine bogies of a wheat laden goods train got derailed due to caving in of a bridge at Bhogabareni on the Dhenkanal-Angul section, East Coast Railway said. Efforts are on to restore communication on this route, it said.
Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Jena has asked collectors of the affected districts to remain on alert and ensure timely evacuation of marooned people and provide them dry food wherever required. They have also been asked to restore road communication on a war footing.
About 19.53 lakh people in 11 districts have been affected by the torrential rains while about 4, 000 people have been moved to safer places in the coastal districts of Puri, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara, the SRC’s office said.
Schools have been shut in 12 districts on Monday and Tuesday in view of the heavy rains in these districts.