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Heavy downpour cripples normal life in Odisha

Water hurdle: People moving to safer locations after heavy rainfall led to waterlogging in several areas of Bhubaneswar on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

Heavy downpour due to depression over the Bay of Bengal pounded several parts of Odisha, causing inundation and prompting authorities to declare a state-wide alert on Saturday.

Three persons died while several others were rescued from water-logged areas. A couple in Kalyansinghpur block of Rayagada district died due to wall collapse. Another person died after being swept away by a flooded river in Malkangiri district.

Road links in interior districts were snapped, leaving many stranded in their homes marooned by flood water. Hundreds of passengers had a close shave as the Bhubaneswar-Jagdalpur Hirakhand Express got struck on the railway track that had gone under water near Bhalumaska railway station in Rayagada district.

The state government cancelled holiday on Sunday for government employees and asked them to stay ready to respond to any exigencies.

Reviewing the flood situation, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed that emergency control rooms remain open 24 hours. More than 16,000 affected people were being served food.

After heavy overnight rains, residents of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack woke up to flooded street and houses. The capital city received 220 mm of rainfall in less than 18 hours. Power boats were deployed and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force personnel were engaged in shifting people to safer places in Bhubaneswar. The boundary walls of Raj Bhawan and Biju Patnaik International Airport could not withstand the heavy rains.

More than 200 pump sets were used to pump out water in low lying areas of Cuttack. The Grand Road in Puri, which will see the three chariots being pulled back into the Jagannath Temple, was also found under water. The district administration was making desperate attempts to restore normalcy so that the festival could take place on Sunday. The premises of the Konark Temple also got submerged.

Six districts -- Kalahandi, Puri, Khordha, Koraput, Malkangiri and Gajapati -- received average rainfall over 100 mm since Friday. Rainfall of 200 mm and above has been recorded in 16 blocks.

The India Meteorological Department has predicted extremely heavy rainfall in Odisha over the next two days.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 8:44:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/heavy-downpour-cripples-normal-life-in-odisha/article24484049.ece

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