Odisha and West Bengal are expected to get heavy to extremely heavy rains on Friday as cyclonic storm Komen weakened considerably a day after hitting the Bangladesh coast.
The Odisha government on Thursday had issued a fresh flood alert in the wake of Cyclone Komen which is expected to worsen the flood situation in five districts of the state where three persons have died and about 4 lakh people have been affected.
"Keeping the possible impact of Cyclone Komen in mind, the district collectors have been directed to remain alert to meet any eventuality," said special relief commissioner (SRC) GVV Sarma.
Quoting the forecast issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Sarma said the northern districts of Odisha are expected to experience heavy rainfall under the influence of Komen in the next two-three days.
Komen had hit the Bangladesh coast on Thursday evening, bringing with it heavy rainfall in Gangetic West Bengal and Odisha. After making landfall over Bangladesh coast, Cyclonic storm Komen has weakened considerably and will move west-north-westwards and weaken gradually.
"Rainfall would occur at most places, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy at isolated places over the Gangetic West Bengal on July 30-31 and heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places on August 1," said Mritunjay Mohapatra, head of the cyclone warning division of the IMD.
"Isolated places in Odisha will also witness heavy to very heavy rainfall at most places on Thursday and heavy to very heavy rains at a few places with isolated extremely heavy rains on July 31 and August 1," he added.
There would be rains at most places, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over the northeastern states of Mizoram, Tripura and Assam till Friday. Jharkhand will also witness heavy to very heavy rains Friday and Saturday.
"Squally wind speed reaching 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph would prevail along and off West Bengal and north Odisha coasts during next 48 hours. Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph would prevail over Mizoram and Tripura commencing from this evening for next 24 hours and over Gangetic West Bengal from Friday morning. Sea condition would be high over the north Bay of Bengal during the same period," Mohapatra added.
Lakhs affected in Odisha
Personnel of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) have retrieved the bodies of all the three people killed in the flood, Sarma said.
According to Sarma, about 60 villages of the 358 villages under 11 blocks and one ULB in five districts like Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore continued to remain marooned for the second consecutive day on Thursday. He said 3.93 lakh people have been affected by the current spell of the flood.
He added that two breaches occurred on the Baitarani - one in Jajpur district and the other in Bhadrak district. Breaches also formed on the Subarnarekha in Balasore district and the Kani in Jajpur district.
"The officials have been working day and night to repair the breaches in river embankments," Sarma said.
Most of the people evacuated have returned to their homes, except 250 persons residing in a relief camp in Balasore district, he said, adding 158 quintals of flattened rice and 15.6 quintals of molasses were distributed among the affected people in the districts of Balasore and Mayurbhanj.
Vast crop areas have been inundated and a number of private houses damaged due to floods, he said, adding that five ODRAF units and one NDRF unit were deployed in the affected districts.
The situation in Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts is almost normal, he said.