Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 17:
While there has been little improvement in the flood situation with decrease in rainfall in eight southern Odisha districts resulting in fall in water levels in different rivers which were in spate, several villages still remained marooned.
Flood water is flowing four feet above the bridge on river Hati in Junagadh block in Kalahandi district. Movement of traffic continues to remain halted between Bhawanipatna and Nabarangpur on the national highway no. 26.
Several people have been stranded on this stretch of the highway among whom most were on their way to their homes for annual celebrations of Nuakhai, the mass festival of western Odisha to welcome the new paddy crop.
Flood waters have entered villages of Balichada, Biripur and Matikhal in Biripur block and Kotegaon in Junagadh block. Villagers of three villages of Kalampur block have been shifted to safer places and they are being provided with free food by the Kalahandi district administration.
Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) unit from Jharsuguda has been rushed to the affected areas of Kalahandi district. The unit is engaged in rescue and relief operations.
“Its water and water everywhere, it has entered our homes. How can we light up stoves to cook for Nuakhai? Leave apart celebrations. Everything from food grains to firewood to belongings is soaked in water,” said a flood-affected woman with tears filled in her eyes.
“On behalf of the administration we are keeping a close watch over the situation, evacuating people wherever it’s required. People are little reluctant to move out of their homes. We have arranged for free kitchens at places. We are evacuating them to safer places. We are keeping a close watch over the situation and will do whatever is necessary,” said Vineet Bharadwaj, sub collector Dharmagarh.
Similarly, in Nabarangpur district two villages of Debraguda and Sirisa and three hamlets under Tentulikhunti block have been badly affected by the floods. People of these villages are being provided with food by the district administration. However, with a decrease in the rains there has been a little improvement in the situation in these villages.
Besides, there has been a decrease in the water level in river Vamshadhara at Kashipur which had crossed the danger mark yesterday.
Also following a breach in the embankment of Naibara nullah, eight villages in Gahangu panchayat in Aska block have been marooned. The marooned villages are Danachandanpedi, Gahangu, Nuapalli, Benapata, Keshapur and Amburaigada. With flood waters flowing over the roads, communication remains affected.
On the other hand, the Met department in its afternoon bulletin today said, the depression over South Odisha and adjoining Chhatisgarh has moved West-northwestwards and concentrated into a deep depression and lay centred over Vidarbha and adjoining areas of Chhattisgarh near Latitude 21.00 N and Longitude 79.50 E, about 50 km east-southeast of Nagpur at 8.30 am today. The system is likely to move West-northwestwards during the next 48 hours, the bulletin said.
“Rain or thundershower would occur at many places over south Odisha and at a few places over north Odisha,” said the bulletin in its forecast.
The weatherman has forecast that heavy rainfall may occur at one or two places over the districts of interior Odisha during the next 24 hours.