torrential rain causes flood in southern region of the state
STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Bhubaneswar/Berhampur, 24 October
Odisha faced the wrath of nature for the third time in a row in the month with low pressure-induced heavy rains causing floods in most parts of the state ~ mostly in the southern region~ close on the heels of the devastating Phailin and subsequent floods.
Incidentally, Ganjam~ which had borne the maximum brunt of Phailin  earlier this month ~ witnessed the worst-flood situation along with neighbouring districts, including Gajapati and Kandhamal.
The government ordered the evacuation of nearly 50,000 people to safety in Ganjam.  At least 129 villages of five blocks in the district are said to be the worst affected. “More than 66,000 people of Ganjam district have been marooned. Several areas have remained cut off while many localities of Hinjili and Aska were flooded by Ghodahada river. Chikiti, Sanakhemundi, Patrapur and Dharakote blocks have also been affected,” said a senior official in the revenue department, adding that the government has asked people to shift to higher places.  Paralakhemundi and Mohana blocks in Gajapati district have also been hit. According to the office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SEC), water level in almost all major rivers in south Odisha, including Rusikulya and Bansadhara, are rising and most of them are now flowing above danger levels.
Chief Minister  Naveen Patnaik, who took stock of the situation in Bhubaneswar asked the concerned district administrations to provide cooked food to people in relief camps. The National Disaster Rapid Action Force, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and other concerned agencies like fire services have been asked to stay alert to cope with any eventuality. The meeting was informed that another 80,000 houses have collapsed in the torrential rain, with the total number of houses damaged in both cyclone and flood in Ganjam rising to 3.40 lakh.
Revenue minister Mr Surya Narayan Patro, who also attended the meeting, said that the flash flood has affected post-Phailin relief and restoration works in Ganjam district.
“We have also asked collectors of all the coastal districts to be on alert and shift people from vulnerable areas to safer places,” he said.