Army, IAF help sought to tackle floods

Elias Hubbard
July 17, 2017

Earlier, in view of flash floods triggered by heavy rainfall in Kalyansinghpur block in Rayagada district, Odisha government had sought four helicopters from Centre for rescue operations. The Odisha government sought the help of the army and the air force to rescue the marooned persons and urged the Central government to provide four helicopters to intensify relief and rescue operations. In the district, four bridges were washed away and the Therubali-Singipur railway bridge was completely damaged in the flood.

Noting that inclement weather persisted in the flood affected areas, Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan said IAF choppers would be pressed into service when weather conditions improve to ensure safe landing.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today reviewed the flood situation at a high level meeting here and directed the administration to undertake the relief and rescue operation on a war footing. Four helicopters were requisitioned for the goal.

According to official sources, two rivers in Rayagada district - Bansadhara and Nagabali - were in spate and the situation was likely to aggravate in the next few hours as rains were still on as this report was filed.

Helicopters would be used for rescuing a large number of people trapped on rooftops as their houses had been submerged by flood water, besides dropping food packets and relief materials, said an official. Swollen Nagavali and Kalyani rivers have inundated several parts of Kalahandi and Rayagada districts.

As the situation remained critical in Ragayada, Special relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said that all neighboring districts of Rayagada have been instructed to provide the required manpower and material support to the district.

Free kitchens have been set up in the affected areas and schools have been closed in Kalyansinghpur block of the badly-hit Rayagada district, Sethi said.

Office of Special Relief Commissioner said a low pressure area had formed over northwest Bay of Bengal of north Odisha and the system is likely to further intensify into depression.

Meanwhile, the state government has geared up its official machinery to tackle the situation and face the possible floods in south Odisha as weathermen have predicted heavy rain in the region.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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