Heavy rains claim three lives in Odisha
Bhubaneswar: The heavy and incessant rains in south and west Odisha earlier this week has claimed at least three lives, left two missing and hit over 1.3 lakh people in nine districts, an official said on Friday.
The damage caused by the rain was known after the rain water receded from the submerged areas on Friday and the situation returned to normal, they said.
Met officials said the recent spell of downpour was triggered by a deep depression which has now weakened and moved out of Odisha.
However, a fresh bout of rainfall is likely to lash the state after three days due to a cyclonic circulation in the area, they said.
Preliminary reports said the pounding rains left one person dead in each of the districts of Koraput, Kandhamal and Kalahandi, an official said.
Two of them died after being swept away by the gushing waters in Jeypore area of Koraput and in Belghar in Kandhamal district, while a third person was killed in wall collapse in Lanjigarh area of Kalahandi, he said.
Two others – one each in Kandhamal and Kalahandi districts went missing after being swept away by flood waters and efforts are on to trace them.
“In all, 1,30,072 people in 1012 villages and five urban areas spread over nine districts were affected by the torrential rains which had created a flood like situation in some areas,” a report from the special relief commissioner’s office said.
A total 14,322 people were evacuated from the vulnerable low-lying areas to safe shelters, the report said adding 95 free kitchens were opened to provide cooked food to them, it said.
Seven teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and several teams of fire service have been deployed for rescue and relief operations.
The affected villages are located in 43 blocks of Rayagada, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Kandhamal, Gajapati, Malkangiri, Kalahandi, Bolangir and Sambalpur districts where more than 2,000 houses have been damaged due to the incessant rains, it said.
The highest number of 90,162 affected people are from 763 villages in Kalahandi district, followed by Rayagada where 14,645 people in 145 villages had been hit, it said.
Life had been thrown out of gear in these districts due to torrential rains and flash floods which caused extensive damage to roads and bridges, officials said.
Meanwhile, train services which had been affected on Wednesday and Thursday due to washing away of the ballast of 100 m of tracks on the Rayagada-Titlagarh section between Daikalu and Ambadola stations are set to resume, ECoR official said.
Railway engineers worked round-the-clock to repair the damaged line and the track fitness was given on Friday at a very slow speed of 10 kmph with caution, he said.
There will be continuous patrolling of tracks, while senior officials will remain at the site to monitor complete restoration of tracks, he said.
Goods trains and an express train also plied on the track under supervision, he said adding efforts are on to restore complete normalcy at the earliest.