Flood follows cyclone in Ganjam, 50,000 people evacuated

Bhubaneswar: About 50,000 people were evacuated today as flash flood claimed two lives and inundated 129 villages in five blocks of Odisha's cyclone-hit Ganjam district along with some areas in Gajapati.

"Following heavy rain for four days, water level in rivers in south Odisha are above danger level and have entered many villages," Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra told reporters here.

The blocks affected in flash flood include Chikiti, Hinjili, Sana Khemundi, Patrapur, Dharakote, Aska, Parlakhemundi, Mohana. Some areas of Gajapati district were also reported to have been affected.

Mohapatra said the collectors of all coastal districts have been directed to evacuate people from low-lying areas.

Two persons have died in wall collapse due to rain in Khallikote and Rangeilunda since yesterday, district emergency officer Mahendra Panda said.

About 40,000 marooned people had been evacuated from Patrapur, Sana Khemundi, Chikiti, Digappahandi, Hinjili, Sheragada and Purushottampur in Ganjam, he said.

Another 10,000 people were evacuated from Gajapati district, the special relief commissioner's office said.

With rivers like Rusikulya, Bansadhara and Ghodahada rising due to non-stop rain for the last four days, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed the administration to provide cooked food to the people in relief camps, Mohapatra said.

"The flash flood has hampered relief and restoration work in places worst-affected by the cyclone," Revenue and Disaster Management minister S N Patro said.

Some evacuated people have already been to relief camps following cyclone Phailin that struck Gopalpur on October 12, with the state government deploying personnel of NDRF, OFRAF and fire services for evacuation, Patro said.

Another 80,000 houses have collapsed in the torrential rain, Mohapatra said, adding that the total number of houses damaged in both cyclone and flood in Ganjam has risen to 3.40 lakh.

Meanwhile, the local unit of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) have predicted heavy rain in central and interior districts.

A well marked low pressure area now lay over coastal Andhra Pradesh and adjoining areas of Telangana and Rayalaseema area, the latest bulletin said.

Rain or thundershower would occur at most places over Odisha in next the 24 hours, it added.

Following heavy rain, train services were disrupted between Khurda Road and Vizianagaram with partial cancellation of some trains as flood waters were overflowing the tracks in many areas, railway sources said.

Flood waters overflowed the tracks between Ichhapuram and Jhadupudi stations in Brahmapur-Palasa section under Khurda Road Division of East Coast Railway, disrupting train services between Khurda Road and Vizianagaram since last evening, they said.

As a result, long distance trains have been diverted and some trains short-terminated, rescheduled and partially cancelled.