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Titli cyclone: Naval helicopters to air drop relief today

After-effect of cyclonic storm Titli causes downpour, flash floods inundate vast areas of Ganjam district.

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

Odisha government requisitioned naval helicopters to air drop relief material and rescue marooned people in vast areas of Ganjam and Gajapati districts as the heavy downpour of over 200mm caused flash floods.

The after effect of cyclonic storm Titli caused maximum damage and the downpour continued right through Friday night. Rushikulya and its tributaries inundated villages of Ganjam district.

The state government has also formed a ministerial committee to monitor the rescue and relief operations as complaints of stranded people not getting drinking water for a day poured in from the affected south Odisha districts of Gajapati, Ganjam and Rayagada.

Power and water supply were the two major disruptions even as road communication was being restored with NDRF, ODRAF, Fire brigade personnel clearing the trees and poles that had been uprooted by Titli.

Rainfall during last 24 hours in districts like Kandhamal 230 mm, Gajapati 205 mm , Cuttack- 166.1 mm, Nayagarh- 161.5 mm, Khordha- 154.7 mm, Puri- 128.9 mm, Boudh- 118.3 mm, Dhenkanal- 106.6 mm and Jagatsinghpur- 105.8 mm caused water logging.

Several areas of Ganjam district like Aska, Purusottampur, Chikiti were inundated and cut off from the rest of the state. Due to heavy downpour flood situation has arisen in the river Rushikulya and Vanshadhara.

Official reports said six districts – Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada, Puri, Kandhamal & Kendrapara were affected.

Electricity and road communication disrupted due to falling of trees in Gajapati District. Major portion of Foot Bridge over Kalingadala barrage (River Bahuda) has been washed away due to heavy rain in Ganjam district. Rushikulya water has entered into Aska jail after damaging the main gate.

Land slide occurred at Bengedangaghat, Daringibadi due to heavy rainfall In Kandhamal District. 4 bridges have been damaged.

Preliminary reports said over 1500 houses have been damaged in Ganjam, Kandhamal and Puri districts.

Two Naval Helicopters requisitioned from Indian Navy has reached Gopalpur. Air dropping operation will start from Saturday morning in Aska, Ganjam district said special relief commissioner B P Sethy.

Chief Secretary A P Padhi said Ganjam district was worst affected by the flood as the water level in almost all the rivers of the district was rising and several areas were marooned and cut off from the rest of the world.

‘The authorities have deployed 6 NDRF teams in Ganjam, four in Gajapati and one team in Rayagada for the rescue and relief operation.

The Chief Secretary said road communication and power supply were affected badly and the government was giving emphasis to restore the road communication and power supply at the earliest.

Mr Padhi said out of the total 5.5 lakh electricity consumers in Ganjam power supply has already been restored to 2.5 lakh consumers and hoped that power supply will be restored to all the consumers in next couple of days.

Similarly, road communication would be restored by this evening or latest by Saturday. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday directed the Collectors to monitor the relief work and also send damage assessment reports within one week.

Official sources said more than 30 lakh people were affected by the cycloinc storm and the flood caused due to heavy rain.

The Chief Secretary said there was no reports of any casualty from anywhere so far. But unofficial reports in the media said three deaths had taken place.

He said there was no power in many parts of the Ganjam district and assured that within 48 hours power supply would be restored in Ganjam except in Aska and Purusottam pur. The Gajapati District Collector said the road network is yet to be cleared of trees and electric poles.

More than 10,000 people are in relief camps, the district Collector said.

The water flow in Vansdhara near Kasinagar is flowing above the danger level due to heavy rain in the upper catchment areas of the river.

Chief Secretary Mr Padhi directed Principal Secretaries and Secretaries of all departments to focus on expeditious mitigation of the effects the very heavy rain & flash flood in the aftermath of the severe cyclone Titli.