Bhubaneswar/ Hyderabad: Massive flood triggered by heavy rains has hit the coastal districts of Odisha leaving 10 people dead and lakhs marooned. The helicopter rescue operations in the flood-hit regions of the state began on Friday. Over 5.32 lakh people in 2276 villages spread over several districts were affected by the floods, while about 1.47 lakh people have been evacuated to safety. Besides the Ganjam area, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and many other districts have also been affected.
Three helicopters undertook rescue operation in Ganjam district where the situation was a cause of concern as rivers Rushikulya and Ghodahada were in spate, Special Relief Commissioner, P K Mohapatra said adding that the tie up with Indian Air Force was done to move NDRF battalions to different places.
Describing the flood situation in Ganjam as grim, Revenue and Disaster Management minister S N Patro said thousands of people were trapped by flood waters in Aska, Sorada, Hinjili, Sergarh, Belaguntha, Rangelunda blocks as also in Gajapati district. Besides Ganjam, districts like Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Jajpur districts were also affected by floods.
As flood waters submerged railway track at many places, all trains to south India from Bhubaneswar and Puri on Saturday have been cancelled, East Coast Railway sources said.
Many places have become inaccessible and relief teams could only reach them after the waters receded. The state government has announced closure of schools and colleges in coastal districts in view of the floods.
Though the intensity of rain was likely to decline, there was heavy rain in the catchment areas of rivers like Rushikulya, Budhabalang and Baitarani, Director of the IMD centre here, Sarat Chandra Sahu said.
The current spell of floods deluged vast areas close on heels of the very severe cyclone of October 12 and resultant floods devastated coastal Odisha.
Rains are also likely to play spoilsport in Cuttack where the 5th ODI between India and Australia is scheduled to take place. This after the last match between the two countries was washed out in Ranchi. Pitch curator at the Barabati stadium in Cuttack is hoping to keep the pitch dry for the Saturday one-dayer
The devastation and destruction is also widespread in coastal Andhra where heavy rains have killed 17 people in post cyclone Phailin.
Over 68,000 people have been evacuated from the state with Srika-kulam and Mahbub-nagar being the worst affected districts. Several dozen villages have been cut off. According the reports, cropts worth over Rs 2000 has been damaged.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy reviewed the situation caused due to heavy
rains at a high-level meeting here today and directed the administration to carry out relief works on a war-footing. With heavy to very heavy rains forecast for the next 48 hours, the Chief Minister asked the administration to be alert and take all necessary measures to provide relief to affected
Ten National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams reached the rain-ravaged districts and are engaged in relief operations. The average rainfall in various parts of the state ranged between 4cm and 26cm in the past 24 hours.
Hundreds of houses were damaged in many districts not only in coastal Andhra but also in Telangana, rendering scores of people shelterless. Rivers are in spate while drains and tanks are overflowing, leaving towns and villages inundated.
"2,575 persons have been shifted to 15 relief camps in the district. They are being provided food, drinking water and other facilities. We are taking all necessary steps to prevent the human loss and damage to properties," East Godavari District Collector Neetu Kumari Prasad said. Heavy rains have affected around 33,568 hectares of crops in the district, she said.
Kadapa District Collector K Sasidhar said that heavy rains caused huge losses to the agriculture in the district, with 1,660 hectares of paddy and 5,183 hectares of cotton crop getting damaged.
(With additional inputs from PTI)