Odisha sounds flood alert ahead of low pressure in Bay of Bengal
The Odisha government on Wednesday asked district collectors and municipal commissioners to set up 24x7 control rooms to deal with floods and possible landslides in hilly areas after the weather department sounded warning of heavy rainfall from a low pressure area that is likely to form over north Bay of Bengal & neighbourhood around June 11, a fortnight after the state bore the brunt of cyclone Yaas.
Odisha’s special relief commissioner PK Jena asked collectors of 13 districts including Malkangiri, Koraput, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Nabarangpur and Deogarh to set up control rooms for flood/ disaster management that would work round the clock.
“The field level functionaries to be in readiness to meet any eventuality including possibility of landslides in hilly areas. District administrations of landslide prone districts are to take special precautionary measures to prevent damage and to make arrangements for evacuating people from vulnerable areas,” Jena said.
As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), a low pressure area is likely to form over north Bay of Bengal & neighbourhood around June 11, and become more marked during subsequent 24 hours. The system is likely to trigger heavy to very heavy rainfall in Odisha beginning from June 10, with a possibility of flash floods in some places. The southwest monsoon is likely to advance into the entire state during the next 2-3 days.
Heavy to very heavy rainfall is very likely to occur at a few places over the districts of Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Angul and Sambalpur on June 10 and 11, the IMD forecast said.
Jena has asked the district collectors to keep all cyclone and flood shelters ready to house people evacuated from kutcha houses/hut and low-lying areas. “The engineers in charge may keep a close watch over the embankments, especially weak/vulnerable points in rivers/ canals. Flood fighting materials may be kept ready at strategic places and immediate action may be taken to prevent any breach or to close the breach, damage of roads,” the special relief commissioner (SRC) said.
The latest flood warning comes at a time when people in the coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Mayurbhanj are still battling the aftermath of cyclone Yaas that hit the coast between Balasore and Bhadrak districts on May 26 noon with a sustained wind speed of 130–140 kmph, with gusts reaching 155 kmph. The storm caused very heavy rainfall in Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Jagatsinghpur, and Kendrapara districts and saline inundation in at least 3 coastal districts affecting over 6 million people in 11,000 villages. Extremely heavy rainfall over the Simlipal region in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha triggered flash flooding in at least 3 rivers.