Bhubaneswar: Incessant downpour triggered by a series of low pressure areas over the Bay of Bengal increased water level in several rivers, submerged many low- lying areas and claimed two more lives on Friday in Odisha, officials said.
The state government, however, ruled out any fear of flood and said though the water level in some rivers had crossed the danger mark, it is likely to recede as the intensity of rainfall in upper catchment areas has now subsided.
Many parts of Odisha have been battered by heavy rainfall under the impact of four back-to-back low pressure areas over the Bay of Bengal so far this month which created a flood-like situation in some areas and damaged crops and mud houses, officials said.
Several areas, particularly in Malkangiri district, continued to grapple with disruption in road communication caused by severe deluge, they said.
The fresh spell of rainfall has claimed two lives due to wall collapse incidents on Friday. While a woman died due to wall collapse in Kuliana area of Mayurbhanj district, another person was killed in a similar incident caused by heavy rainfall in Riamal area of Deogarh district, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said.
The death toll in rain-related incidents in the state has risen to five as two persons had been swept away by the strong current of a river in Moroda area of Mayurbhanj district on August 19 and another person was killed in a wall collapse incident on August 16 in Patnagarh area of Balangir district, Jena said.
Ruling out the likelihood of a flood in any part of the state at this juncture, he said the intensity of rainfall has decreased and the state recorded an average rainfall of 16 mm since Thursday with Kosagumuda block in Nabarangpur district reporting 126.2 mm and Padia block in Malkangiri 112.3 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours till 8.30 am of Friday.
While 22 blocks recorded more than 50 mm rainfall during the period, 59 blocks received rainfall between 20 and 50 mm.
The water level of Baitarani river stood at 17.94 metre at Akhuapada in Bhadrak district as against the danger mark of 17.83, but the embankments of the river are quite strong. The water level is likely to fall as the intensity of rainfall in catchment areas has subsided, an official said.
Similarly, the water level of Jalaka river had risen to 6.6 metre, much above the danger mark of 5.5 metre, but there is no threat of flood and the situation is under control, said Water Resources Chief engineer Jyotirmaya Rath, adding "there is no need for panic."
Malkangiri district is grappling with submergence of some areas with water and road link disruption following incessant rainfall, he said, adding that many bridges in the district are under water as they are at low level.
Road communication between Kalimela and Padia in Malkangiri continues to be snapped with water flowing over a bridge near Kanyashram, while several trees uprooted on National Highway-326, an official said.
Water is also flowing at some places on the road connecting Poteru, Kankarkonda and MV-90. Communication with Chhattisgarh has also been cut off.
In Sundergarh district, a temporary bridge over National Highway-215 near Narayanposh Command has been washed away snapping connectivity between Kalta and Koida. The district administration has started the repair works to restore normalcy, he said.
More downpour is on the cards for Odisha in next few days as a fresh low pressure area is likely to develop over Northwest Bay of Bengal and neighbouring areas around August 23, the Meteorological Centre here said.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea along and off Odisha coast from August 24 to 26 as squally weather with surface wind up to 55 kmph speed may prevail during the period.