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Rains & rivers flood vast areas

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 12: Flash flood caused by heavy rain in upper catchment wreaked havoc in several places of southern and western parts of the state, while heavy rains are likely to lash the northern and central Orissa, as a deep depression formed over the Bay of Bengal.

The government has alerted all the districts to keep in readiness to face any eventuality and swing into action wherever relief and rescue operations are necessary, disaster management minister Manmohan Samal said this afternoon.

S.C. Sahoo, the director of meteorology centre here, said heavy to very heavy rains were likely to occur at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places over Orissa during the next 48 hours under the influence of the depression.

By this evening, the Vanshadhara, Rushikulya and their tributaries were rising and flowing close to danger mark following the rains since past two days. Around 500 residents of Gudari in Rayagada district were evacuated as the town was submerged by the flood water for the second time in a week, Samal said, adding that similar steps were taken in a ward in Bolangir town.

Rayagarh collector Bhaskar Jyoti Sharma, who visited Gudari and Gunupur yesterday, said the marooned people were shifted to safer places. Sharma said two bridges were washed away by the Nagabali in Kalyan Singhpur block, while the road communication in Chandrapur area, bordering Gajapati and Phulbani districts, was cut off.

In Kalahandi district, which bore the brunt of the Hati, Tel and Udanti, one person was killed by electrocution, while another person, who was swept away by flood, was feared killed, said district collector Pramod Patnaik. A coal-laden truck was swept away while crossing a bridge over the Hati near Junagarh last night. While the truck driver and helper were rescued, one Sonu Swain, the son of the truck owner, was missing, said Patnaik.

The district headquarters of Bhawanipatna was cut off as a high-level bridge over the Bhawanipatna-Khariar state highway and a culvert over the Pipalnala were washed away.

Normal life was thrown out of gear in north and central Orissa due to incessant rain triggered by depression.

Met officials here said rainfall had occurred in many places across the state during the past 24 hours. In the next 48 hours, strong wind at a speed of 45-55kmph is likely to blow along and off Orissa coast. Sea condition would be rough to very rough. Cautionary signal no. 3 has been hoisted at Paradip, Chandbali, Puri and Gopalpur while fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea, said Met officials.

Several places in north Orissa, including Balasore and Bhadrak districts, have been experiencing heavy and incessant rain since last night. Balasore collector Alekh Padhiary said the Kanshabansha and Jalaka were in spate and flowing close to danger level while the Subernarekha and Budhabalanga were flowing below the warning level.

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