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

The New Indian Express - - TAMIL NADU / SOUTH -

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.

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