Bhubaneswar, July 16 (IANS) With heavy rains triggering flash floods in parts of Rayagada and Kalahandi districts, the Odisha government on Sunday sought the help of the army and the air force to rescue the marooned persons and urged the Centre to provide four helicopters to intensify relief and rescue operations.
After holding an emergency meeting here with officials, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said due to continuous downpour the water level of Nagabali and Kalyani rivers had risen and many places of Kalyansinghpur block in Rayagada district and Kalahandi district were inundated.
The state government sought the help of the army and the Indian Air Force to evacuate the marooned villagers. The IAF choppers will be used in Kalyansinghpur block, where people are trapped on rooftops of submerged houses.
The Chief Minister said while the situation is being closely monitored by senior officials, the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, Central Reserve Police Force and fire services units have been rushed to expedite rescue operations.
“With prompt response we have been able to rescue most people affected by flash floods in Nagabali and Kalyani rivers in Raygada district,” tweeted Patnaik.
Several bridges, including a railway overbridge, were washed away in the floods caused by incessant rains in the two districts. Besides, major roads were damaged by floodwaters.
“We are closely monitoring the situation. We are trying to evacuate the stranded people as several areas have been cut off and people have taken shelter on rooftops,” said Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi.
Bhubaneswar Meteorological Department Director Sarat Sahu said a low pressure area had formed over northwest Bay of Bengal off north Odisha.
The system is likely to further intensify into depression, causing heavy rain in several parts of the state, he added.