Rain lashes Odisha; normal life hit in Gajapati
Bhubaneswar: Heavy rain battered Odisha as a deep depression formed over the Bay of Bengal Bengal crossed the coast in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, the Meteorological Centre here said. The authorities have started shifting people from vulnerable areas of worst-affected Gajapati district.
The deep depression crossed north Andhra Pradesh coast, close to Kakinada, in the morning and, under its influence, several parts of Odisha, particularly southern districts such as Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Koraput and Malkangiri witnessed downpour since Monday night.
State capital Bhubaneswar and neighbouring Cuttack city also experienced rainfall since Tuesday morning, disrupting normal life and vehicular movement as several low-lying areas got waterlogged. Normal life was severely hit in several parts of Gajapati district following heavy rain since Monday night with Mohana block bearing the brunt of rain fury.
The block recorded around 142 mm rainfall in the 24 hours till 9 am on Tuesday. Five panchayats in the block were cut off from the rest of the district as water was flowing over a bridge, official sources said.
Around 500 people from 12 villages in four blocks of Gajapati district were shifted from vulnerable areas to cyclone shelters as a precautionary measure. Apprehending landslides due to the downpour, the authorities made arrangements to evacuate many other people from hilly areas of these blocks, he said, adding that polythene sheets were given to people in some areas, as their houses were damaged in the rain.
The Met office said that heavy rain is very likely to occur at some places over the districts of Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Gajapati Ganjam, Puri, Kandhamal, Kalahandi and Jagatsinghpur till Wednesday.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena had earlier directed district collectors to remain on high alert and closely monitor the situation in the low-lying areas along the coast to deal with any water-logging and landslide in hilly areas. As sea conditions were rough along and off Odisha coast and squally weather prevailed in the region, fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea before Wednesday.
Since August, nine low pressure systems, including two this month, have been formed over the Bay of Bengal triggering heavy rain in Odisha. October usually witnesses formation of cyclones over the Bay of Bengal that batter the eastern coasts, especially Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.