FLOODS HIT BOTH STATES, GOVERNMENTS CAUGHT UNAWARE PANEL TO VISIT AFFECTED AREAS
The flash floods on Friday have brought to the fore the failure of the administration in anticipating the aftermath of the cyclone as major parts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh were hit
EVEN as the state government remained preoccupied with the target to ensure zero casualty during the very severe cyclone Titli, it was taken completely unawares by the flash floods which has affected around 38.7 lakh people and rendered thousands homeless. Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada districts which had already been battered by the cyclone are the worst affected in the floods.
Floods waters have submerged a large part of Aska and Chikiti towns along with many other areas of Ganjam district.
In Aska, it reached to 10 feet submerging houses completely. The flood has been caused by sudden release of water from Randighai barrage of Bhanjanagar. The administration was not prepared for the heavy rains brought down by Titli that caused the reservoir to swell beyond capacity.
Ganjam Collector Vijay Amrita Kulange said, “More than 1lakh people from the district have been evacuated to safer places.”
Situation in Gajapati, the worst hit by the cyclone is also grim where around 205mm rainfall has been recorded in last 24 hours. Around 13,000 people of several villages in Kashinagar and Goshani blocks have been affected in the district.
“Landslide occured at Gangabada panchayat under Raygada block of the district affecting many people,” collector Sudhansu Mohan Samal said.
The neighbouring Rayagada district was also left battling serious flood situation as the Bansadhara river wreaked havoc in the Gunupur block.
The office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) informed that floods have damaged 1,512 houses in Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Puri, Kandhamal, Kendrapara and a few other districts.
It has also damaged crops in 8.56 lakh hectares in these districts. Floods in Rushikulya and its tributary Bada Nadi has inundated several villages in Hinjili, Aska, Purushotampur, Chhatrapur, Bhanjanagar, Chikiti, Digapahandi and Patrapur areas of Ganjam.
The swelling Mahendratanaya river submerged vast stretches of Gajapati district cutting off road communication between AP and Paralakhemundi in Odisha. At least 16 trains were cancelled and several others rescheduled by East Coast Railway on Friday due to submergence of railway tracks. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the situation in a videocon with the district collectors of Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada. He asked the district collectors to intensify rescue and relief operations on a war footing. He constituted a threemember ministerial committee comprising Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty, Water Resources Minister Niranjan Pujari and Energy Minister Sushant Singh to visit the three worst-affected districts to monitor rescue and relief operations. Two helicopters have been requisitioned from the Navy for rescue and air dropping of relief materials in villages.