Odisha Channel Bureau
BHUBANESWAR: Heavy rains on Saturday night caused flash floods in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts on Sunday affecting about 50,000 people.
Flash floods in Nagabali and Kalyani rivers left thousands of people marooned in Kalyansinghpur block of Rayagada district and caused extensive damage to bridges and roads and affected railway connectivity.
Two Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force teams, fire services personnel and CRPF jawans were engaged relief and rescue operation. The State government has also sought assistance of Indian Air Force for rescue operation and airdropping of relief material in the affected areas. Four helicopters were requisitioned for the purpose.
Flash floods due to incessant rains also caused inundation in vast stretches in Thuamul Rampur Block of Kalahandi district adjoining Rayagada. Thousands of people were cut off from all sides as road communication was badly hit.
According to East Coast Railway, the flash floods affected train services in the Rayagada-Titilagarh railway section as Railway bridge No 585 between Therubali and Singapur Road railway stations was washed away.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited the office of the Special Relief Commissioner in Bhubaneswar to oversee ongoing work and directed seamless coordination on flash floods. “No effort will be spared to ensure the safety of the people,’ said Patnaik.
“With prompt response we have been able to rescue most people affected by flash floods in Nagabali and Kalyani rivers in Rayagada district,” said Patnaik in a tweet.
As the situation remained critical in Ragayada, Special relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said that all neighboring districts of Rayagada have been instructed to provide the required manpower and material support to the district.
Sethi said that the Collector of Rayagada has been instructed to provide emergent food assistance to the affected people for seven days.
Two free kitchens have been opened at Majhihada High School and Kalyansinghpur ME School covering 1300 beneficiaries.
All schools of Kalyansinghpur Block will remain closed although water had started receding in Nagabali as rains stopped by Sunday afternoon.