Southern Odisha pounded by heavy rains, red alert for many districts

Bhubaneswar: Low-lying areas were inundated with rivers flowing in spate as torrential rain pummeled southern Odisha on Monday (August 8, 2022) due to a low-pressure area, which is set to concentrate into a depression. The well-marked weather system lies over the northwest Bay of Bengal off the coasts of Odisha and northern Andhra Pradesh, the Met office said.

It is expected to intensify into a depression during the next 24 hours and move northwestwards across Odisha and Chhattisgarh, the Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre said.

The districts of Nabarangpur, Koraput, Kalahandi, Malkangiri, Ganjam, Gajapati and Kandhamal bore the brunt of heavy to very heavy rain under the influence of a low pressure and an active monsoon trough, which is passing over southern Odisha.

Agriculture fields and roads lay flooded as at least seven weather stations recorded very heavy rain of 116-204 mm, while 17 places were lashed by downpour of 65-115 mm.

Chhatrapur in Ganjam was battered by 95.2 mm of rain between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm.

Nabangpur Collector Kamal Lochan Mishra inspected the flood situation at Papadahandi as water of the swollen Turi river entered the houses. He directed the block administration to arrange relief for the affected people and keep a close watch on the situation.

A state highway was cut off as a bridge over the Turi went underwater near Papadahandi. The collector deputed officials to the site to ascertain the safety of the bridge before allowing vehicles to ply.

A medical team, which was unable to reach Tulasipada village in Nabarangpur due to a swollen stream, threw medicines to the other end by stuffing them in polyethylene bags. The team used a public address system to alert the people, who collected the medicines for diarrhoea.

Several Kaudia devotees, who went to the Narsinghnath temple in Bargarh district in Srabana, had a close shave as they were stuck due to the strong current of a stream. They desperately created a human chain by holding on to each other and managed to escape from the dangerous situation.

The Vamsadhara river was flowing near the warning level at Kashinagar in Gajapati district. A makeshift bridge was swept away by a swollen river in Kandhamal following heavy rain.

The water level was rising in many rivers, but it is below the danger mark, according to the water resources department.

A ‘red alert’ of extremely heavy rain of over 204 mm has been issued for a few places in Gajapati, Ganjam and Kandhamal districts till Tuesday morning, the Met said.

There can be extremely heavy rain in a few places in Bargarh, Sambalpur, Angul and Keonjhar on Tuesday. It may trigger flash floods, landslides or mudslides in vulnerable hilly areas and cause damage to susceptible roads and houses.

The Met also issued an orange warning of very heavy rain in the districts of Cuttack, Bolangir, Boudh, Balasore, Bhadrak, Dhenkanal, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh and Subarnapur.

Fisherfolk have been advised not to venture off the coast till Thursday as squally weather with wind speed of 45-65 kmph is possible over the northwestern Bay of Bengal.