| A rescue team at Raghunathpur on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, Oct. 15: Incessant rain triggered by cyclone Phailin has led to flash floods in most of the low-lying areas of the city and on its outskirts. Poor drainage system made the situation worse.
The areas on the outskirts were inundated as water was also released in large quantities from the Deras barrage near the Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary.
The city received 168.7mm rainfall from the cyclonic storm caused by Phailin. Combined with that was the impact of the released water, which took people living on both sides of the Airport-Nandankanan road near Raghunathpur by surprise. It also flooded many areas on the Sundarpada-Jatni road. Low-lying areas along the Daya-west canal and the Gangua nullah were also flooded. In both the areas the water came through two major channels originating from Chandaka.
Kalyani Nagar resident Anshuman Acharya said: “The rainfall was perhaps one of the highest and it sparked a flash flood that left our colony inundated. We never experienced such a situation in the past. The Odisha Fire Services personnel had to rush in to rescue the elderly.”
Ananta Charan Sethi, principal of the State Fire Training College and in-charge of the rescue operation by the Odisha Fire Services in Bhubaneswar, said: “Yesterday, we rescued 54 persons from Raghunathpur and 15 today.”
He, however, said no incident of drowning was reported as most residents of low-lying slum colonies were evacuated in co-ordination with the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation officials.
On the other hand, the Deras reservoir had also released water for nearly six hours on October 13, causing flash floods in other areas along the Sundarpada-Jatni road.
“The low-lying areas along the road remain under flood water when the Mahanadi river swells and water comes though the Daya river. But this time, water came from Chandaka,” said Kapilaprasad councillor Chhabindra Jena.
Special director-general of police Sanjeev Marik, who is overseeing rescue operations of Odisha police, said: “We have deployed four teams for the city. They are working on road clearance, apart from helping the marooned people move out.”
Marik, however, blamed the poor drainage system and encroachment on the drainage channels in almost all parts of the city for waterlogging in areas such as Nayalappi, Acharya Vihar, Regional Plant Resource Centre, Jaydev Vihar, Bomikhal, Laxmisagar and many parts of Old Town along the Ravi Talkies Road.
“Earlier, I had seen clean natural water coming through these channels. But now, they are full of unauthorised structures causing problem in discharge of rainwater,” he said.
The multi-storey structures along the Sundarpada-Jatni road had experienced a similar situation in the past following floods in the Mahanadi basin.