Bhubaneswar, Oct 24:
With the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting torrential rains in many parts of the state over the next two days, even as heavy downpour continued for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday following low pressure in Bay of Bengal triggering flash floods, the state government Thursday put administrations in coastal districts on alert and directed to provide cooked food to the flood affected people taking shelter in schools and colleges.
Lakhs of people have been marooned in Ganjam and Gajapati as heavy and continuous downpour triggered flash floods in Banshadhara, Bahuda, Rushikulya, Badanadi, Ramanadi and Ghodahada. Similarly, water in the rivers of north Odisha, including Baitarani, Subarnarekha and Budhabalang, are flowing just below the danger mark and may breach the mark any time inundating several areas.
Attending a review meeting to take preventive measures, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed the district administrations to provide cooked food to the affected people taking shelter in Ganjam and Gajapati districts.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) personnel have been sent to the affected areas for relief and rescue operations.
Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Surya Narayan Patro informed that heavy rains have disrupted road and railway services and also resulted in water logging in many villages and towns. It also hampered rehabilitation work in places worst-affected by the cyclone and subsequent flooding.
At least 5,000 people, who were evacuated ahead of the cyclone, returned to relief camps in worst-hit Ganjam district as rivers here swelled and water entered homes, he said.
The Bansadhara river and its tributaries have crossed danger levels in the region and the water levels are likely to rise further as heavy rain was expected for the next two-three days, the minister said.