Heavy rains cause flash floods in Orissa

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Bhubaneswar, July 21 (ANI): With all major rivers nearing their danger marks due to heavy rains, flash floods have affected 10 districts of Orissa.

The state government has sounded an alert and announced a two-day holiday for schools in Balasore district.

According to the Meteorological office, water levels in the Mahanadi, Devi, Baitarani, Brahmani, Subarnarekha, Tel, Hati, Bansadhara and Rushikulya rivers were near their danger marks at several places.

The situation is likely to deteriorate with the met office saying the depression over Bay and Bengal is likely to trigger heavy to very heavy rainfall in the state along with squally wind speed ranging from 45 km/ph to 65 km/ph.

Flash floods in numerous hilly streams and rivulets continued to wreak havoc in southern and western parts of the state disrupting road communications.

Flood waters of Bansadhara and Nagavali rivers have disrupted road links between Rayagada and Koraput and Rayagada and Kalyansinghpur, official sources said, adding as many as 10 gram panchayats in Rayagada district are cut off due to landslides.

In Kalahandi district, Hati river created havoc as its water is flowing four feet over the bridge at Junagarh on NH 201.

Low lying areas and paddy fields in the district have been inundated by the Tel river.

The two towns in the district Kesinga and Bhawanipatna - recorded 296 mm and 130 mm of rainfall respectively, since Sunday.

In coastal Ganjam district, the situation is grim with about 6,000 people of seven villages in Bhanjanagar block marooned and several areas cut off from the rest of the state, sources said.

Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force has been pressed into service to rescue the marooned people and provide them relief.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the situation and directed the officials to be prepared with adequate food material, medicine, clothes and boats for relief and rescue operation in the event of flood, official sources said. (ANI)

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