Rain lashes State, flood alert in coastal parts

Bhubaneswar: With the low pressure-triggered rains showing no signs of abatement, the State government which already bore the brunt of Cyclone Phailin and subsequent floods has once again geared up to fight the incessant downpour that raised spell of flood in many districts of Odisha.
Ganjam, the worst hit district in the recent deadly storm, on Thursday witnessed flood-like situation as major rivers flowing through the district are swelling due to heavy showers in the upper catchment region for last 3-4 days. Sources said, many low lying areas of Ganjam, Gajapati, Raygada and Parlakhemundi have been waterlogged.
As many as eight teams of NDRF and ODRAF have been deployed in the flood-hit areas after CM Naveen Patnaik reviewed the situation at the Secretariat here today. Patnaik has directed the district administration to evacuate the people residing in the low lying areas.
Meanwhile, the fresh rain has compounded the miseries of the Phailin-hit people who are under the open sky for last 12 days. Three people have reportedly drowned in a swollen river in Sanakhemundi block of Ganjam district.
According to reports reaching here, the pilgrim city Puri has also suffered in great extent. People are seen wading through knee deep water in every lane and bylane of the tourist town. Overflowing rain water is also reportedly found entering many houses in the low areas.
The East Coast Railway has decided to divert certain trains including Konark express, East Coast express, Prashanti Nilayam, Shalimar express running through Icchapuram of Andhra Pradesh as rain water is flowing over the rail tracks. Many long route passenger trains like Visakha express, Puri-Vishakhapatnam Intercity and some others running between Khurdha and Vizag have been cancelled, sources added.
As the low pressure triggered a trough line in the Bay of Bengal and it is approaching towards northern Odisha, the weatherman predicted heavy to very heavy rains recording 25cm in many coastal pockets of the State. It will continue for next 36 hours, Met sources said. The sea will be very rough during this time following which fishermen have been alerted not to venture into the sea. Danger signal-III has been hoisted in Paradip, Puri, Gopalpur and Chandbali ports.