Odisha: Railway bridge washed away in flash floods, govt seeks Army, IAF help

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Bhuwaneswar, July 16: Railway bridge washed away in fierce flow of Nagavali River following heavy rainfall in Odisha's Rayagada.

Heavy rains swelled two major rivers causing flash floods in Odisha's Rayagada district, prompting the state government to seek the help of defence forces, as four IAF choppers were pressed into service for relief and rescue operations, government officials today said.

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The flash floods resulted from an alarming rise in the water levels in the Nagavalli and the Kalyani rivers, reports PTI.

Four Mi-17 V5 helicopters of IAF have been tasked for the relief and rescue operations. The choppers, detached for OpTriveni under the Central Air Command, based at Raipur/Jagdalpur, were on a standby awaiting weather clearance.

"As it is not possible to rescue the people through boat and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, the assistance of Indian Air Force is required for the rescue operation and airdrop of relief material in the affected areas of Rayagada district. Four helicopters have been requisitioned,"  a defence official said to PTI.

Several areas in adjoining Kalahandi district were also severely affected by the floods caused by incessant rains, disrupting road and rail communications, they said.

"There are flash floods in Kalyansinghpur of Rayagada caused by the rivers Nagavalli and Kalyani," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said after reviewing the flood situation at an emergency meeting held at the office of the Special Relief Commissioner.

The help of the Army, Navy and Air Force helicopters is sought and instructions have been issued to take all immediate steps to ensure relief and rescue and other mitigation measures, he said.

"No effort will be spared to ensure the safety of the people," the chief minister said.

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