Downpour batters Odisha, more rain likely

Bhubaneswar: Heavy rain, triggered by a low pressure area, battered several low-lying places in Odisha on Friday disrupting road communication, officials said.

The meteorological centre here forecast more downpour till Monday and issued warning of a possible flood-like situation and landslide in hilly areas due to incessant rain.

The fresh low pressure area now lies over north coastal Odisha and adjoining Gangetic West Bengal with associated cyclonic circulation extending up to 7.6 km above mean sea level, the Met centre said in a special bulletin.

Under its influence, heavy rain battered several districts including Bolangir, Kalahandi, Ganjam, Kandhamal, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Gajapati, Rayagada and Koraput, an official said.

This is the fifth instance of heavy rain pounding the state under the influence of low pressure areas over the Bay of Bengal since August and intense rain had triggered flash floods in south and west Odisha last month.

In view of incessant rain, schools and anganwadi centres remained shut on Friday in Ganjam and Kandhamal districts as a precautionary measure, the official said.

Ganjam district education officer (DEO), Sanatan Panda said if necessary, schools and anganwadi centres may be used as shelters in the event of evacuation of people from vulnerable areas and teachers were asked to be present in the institutions so that they can help in the process.

Several areas in the district were inundated due to the heavy rain since Thursday. Road communication in Berhampur and Aska was disrupted as rainwater was flowing over National Highway 59, an official said.

Normal life was hit in Kalahandi district with 137 mm rainfall recorded till Friday morning in Thuamul Rampur and 178 mm in Jaipatna, the official said adding water level in Indravati reservoir and Hati river rose as a consequence of heavy rain.

Flood water of the river inundated Biripur and Matikhal villages under Kalampur block, officials said.

However, the water levels in all major rivers including Mahanadi in the state are below the danger marks.

The water level at Hirakud dam on Mahanadi river stood at 625.45 feet as against the 630 feet capacity of the reservoir. Water inflow at the dam was 1, 70,033 cusecs and outflow 2,14,505 cusec, a senior official said.

The MeT centre also issued an “orange warning” for parts of Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Bolangir, Nuapada, Sonepur and Nabarangpur where heavy to very heavy rainfall may occur till Saturday.

Orange warning is for weather conditions that have the capacity to impact significantly.

Heavy rain is also likely to lash parts of Koraput, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Gajapati, Nayagarh, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Dhenkanal, Bargarh and Sambalpur till Saturday, it said adding that heavy to very heavy rainfall may occur in parts of Angul, Deogarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Bargarh and Nuapada on Saturday and Sunday.

Some areas of Dhenkanal, Sundargarh, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts are likely to get heavy rainfall during the period.

Squally weather with the gusty surface wind with speed reaching 40-50 kmph is likely to prevail along and off Odisha coast and sea condition is likely to be “rough to very rough”, the MeT centre said.

In view of the weather condition, fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea till Sunday, it said.

The state revenue and disaster management department issued an advisory, asking collectors of the districts under orange warning to keep the administrative machinery fully prepared to meet any possible flood, landslide and waterlogging situation that may arise in the event of intense rainfall.

The collectors of the districts were also asked to make advance arrangements for evacuation and rescue of people from vulnerable areas to safe shelters and provide them adequate food, drinking water, health and sanitation facilities.

Besides, the state government also told them to stay prepared and make alternative communication arrangements in case of landslides due to incessant rain in hilly terrains of the districts under the orange warning.