Odisha CM reviews rain situation; 2 killed

Naveen Patnaik, who took stock of the situation during the day, asked the district collectors to move people from the flooded areas, if required, as the state "maintains a policy of zero casualty".

Heavy rain continued to lash parts of Odisha for the second day on Saturday, prompting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to order relief measures in the affected areas.

At least two people were killed in Raygada district of the state on Saturday morning, when a wall collapsed on them due to the rainfall, official sources said.

The incident comes a day after seven people were killed due to lightning strikes in Mayurbhanj and Balasore.

The low pressure-induced rain has led to a flood-like situation in Malkangiri and Kalahandi districts, sources in the special relief commissioner's (SRC) office said, adding that people in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and the holy town of Puri were grappling with waterlogging problems since Friday.

Patnaik, who took stock of the situation during the day, asked the district collectors to move people from the flooded areas, if required, as the state "maintains a policy of zero casualty".

He also directed authorities of the Urban Development Department to ensure that the waterlogging problem was resolved at the earliest with the use of pumps.

Schools in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri remained closed on Saturday due to rainfall.

Sources in East Coast Railway Zone (ECoR) said at least three trains were cancelled and several trains had to be rerouted as water submerged railway tracks in several regions.

Train services were also affected due to landslides between Rayagada-Koraput and Rauli-Leliguma areas.

"The Hirakhand Express and Koraput-Vishakhapatnam DMU had to be short-terminated at Bhalumuska and Tikiri railway stations in Rayagada district," an ECoR official said.

All regions, barring Sundergarh, Sambalpur and Jharsuguda districts in west Odisha, have been experiencing heavy showers since Friday, Special Relief Commissioner B P Sethi said.

According to Sethi, six districts— Gajapati, Kalahandi, Khurda, Kopraput, Malkangiri and Puri— have received an average rainfall of over 100 mm.

In the state capital, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) personnel and fire-service teams have been deployed to deal with waterlogging issues at Jaydev Vihar, Nayapalli, Acharya Vihar and Jaydurganagar areas, he said.

In Cuttack, at least 181 pumps have been engaged to flush out rain water. Additionally, a sluice gate has been opened to release water of Kathajodi River, officials said.

A team of ODRAF personnel has been deployed in the city to assist the marooned people and deliver food to them, they added.

The return of Lord Jagannath's chariot on Sunday could get affected due to severe waterlogging in Puri district, an official said.

The chariot wheels of Lords Jagannath, Shubhadra and Balaram were lying half-submerged in the rainwater, he said, adding that the district received a rainfall of 322 mm in the past 24 hours.

In Malkangiri, traffic movement on NH-326 was disrupted near the Saptadhara bridge in Khairput block and the Pangam bridge in Mathili Block among other areas, District Collector Manish Kumar Agarwal said.

Two ODRAF teams in Mathili Block of Malkangiri have rescued 15 people and shifted them to a nearby school building, he added.

Heavy rain also pounded Kalahandi district on Friday night, forcing the authorities to open five gates of Mangalpur barrage.

A portion of NH-59, along Madanpur- Tumudibundh area, has been washed away in the rain, official sources said, adding that families in Kalampur block of the district have been shifted to safer places.

According to the MeT Department, the state could experience more rainfall, accompanied by thunderstorms, over the next 24 hours as the well-marked low pressure area over northwest Bay of Bengal has concentrated into a depression.

"It (low-pressure area) is very likely to move west-northwestwards and cross north Odisha and West Bengal coast between Chandbali and Digha, close to Balasore, around evening today (Saturday)," it said.

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Odisha CM reviews rain situation; 2 killed


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