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Heavy rain lashes Odisha, 13,000 evacuated

Pedestrians in Bhubaneswar hold an umbrella to protect themselves from the rain at the daily market area.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Odisha government has evacuated 13,534 people with swirling floodwater marooning thousands of people in 20 districts following downpour for the past 48 hours.

Four persons lost their lives in the incessant rain triggered by the deep depression in the Bay of Bengal. According to Special Relief Commissioner, two persons died in Kendrapara district due to wall collapse, one in Khordha district due to drowning and one in Ganjam district due to wall collapse. One person was missing due to drowning in Cuttack district.

The heavy rain has affected about 20 lakh people in 20 of the 30 districts. The State received 155 mm rainfall during September 13 and 14.

According to the Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre, Odisha had received over 869% excess rainfall on a single day.

“Odisha usually receives an average rainfall of 7.8 mm between September 13 and 14. However, the State recorded precipitation of 75.6 mm, which is 869% excess rainfall during past 24 hours,” said H. R. Biswas, Director of the meteorological centre.

Talcher recorded highest 394 mm rainfall since 8.30 a.m. on September 13 followed by Birmharajpur in Subarnapur district where 372 mm rainfall was measured. Tikarpada was the third such place where rainfall was recorded in excess of 300 mm.

Going by individual places and excess rainfall recorded there, Dhenkanal received 195.4 mm rainfall which was excess to the tune of 3052%. Boudh (2727%), Sonepur (2324%), Balangir (2294%), Angul (2011%) and Jajpur (2005%) are other other places where departure in excess of 2000%.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Special Relief Commissioner P.K. Jena said, “We are not expecting any major flood. However, we are keeping a close watch on rainfall in western Odisha and Chhattisgarh — which is the upper catchment of the Mahanadi. It has been decided to open a few sluice gates at the Hirakud dam to keep the rising water level in the reservoir in check.”

By Tuesday evening, the water has crossed danger level at Akhuapada in the Baitarani river and Mathani in the Jalaka river.

The State government has declared heavy rain as a State specific disaster.

“Collectors have been asked to provide dry food or cooked food materials to marooned people. They have also been instructed to expedite damage assessment,” said Mr. Jena.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 10:21:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/odisha-orders-evacuation-from-low-lying-areas-as-rain-batters-state/article36447857.ece

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