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Kalyansinghpur flash floods: Odisha seeks four choppers from Centre

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Bhubaneswar: In view of flash floods triggered by heavy rainfall in Kalyansinghpur block in Rayagada district, Odisha government sought four helicopters from Centre for rescue operations.

The food packets will be dropped from air if required, said Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi.

The state government sought the help of the army and the Indian Air Force to evacuate the marooned villagers. The IAF choppers will be used in Kalyansinghpur block, where people are trapped on rooftops of submerged houses.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik convened an emergency meeting at SRC office to review flash flood situation in Kalyansinghpur block of the tribal district.

The situation is being monitored by senior officials through control room set up at SRC. The ODRAF, CRPF and Fire services units have rushed to expedite rescue operations, Patnaik told media after meeting.

All the efforts will be made to rescue people in the floods area, he said.

“With prompt response we have been able to rescue most people affected by flash floods in Nagabali and Kalyani rivers in Rayagada district,” tweeted Patnaik.

The Development Commissioner R Balkrishnan has been asked to keep coordination with all the departments to deal with the situation.

Emergency measures have been initiated to ensure uninterrupted health services for people in flood hit Kalyansinghpur block of Rayagada district. Two teams headed by CDMO and ADMO (PH) respectively are rushing in from different sides with emergency medicines and supplies. Emergency stock of medicines, salines, bleaching, halogen tablets, etc., being rushed in despite adequate stock.

Director Health Services has been directed to proceed Rayagada to monitor and supervise health care in flood affected areas of the dist. DHS Dr K.C.Dash is heading for Rayagada.

On the other hand, state government announced that all schools under the block will remain closed for next five days till July 20. The decision to reopen some schools will be taken after reviewing the flood situation in the area.

Notably, continuous rains since Saturday lashed many places in Kalyansinghpur block. The area has been completely cut off. The roads and villages have been submerged in flood waters. The water level on Nagabali and Kalyani Rivers rose due to heavy rains.

Several bridges, including a railway overbridge, were washed away in the floods caused by incessant rains in the two districts. Besides, major roads were damaged by floodwaters.

“We are closely monitoring the situation. We are trying to evacuate the stranded people as several areas have been cut off and people have taken shelter on rooftops,” SRC Sethi said.

Bhubaneswar Meteorological Department Director Sarat Sahu said a low pressure area had formed over northwest Bay of Bengal off north Odisha.

The system is likely to further intensify into depression, causing heavy rain in several parts of the state, he added.

(With IANS input)