Record rainfall in Odisha; two die in separate wall collapse incidents
Two people in Odisha’s Kendrapara district died in wall collapse as the state experience a record rainfall in most of its coastal regions, including state capital Bhubaneswar and pilgrim town of Puri on Monday. Later, a 29-year-old farmer of Khurda district was washed away in floodwater. A 100-year-old building also reportedly collapsed in Behrampur. The downpour is a result of the depression over northwest Bay of Bengal and adjoining Odisha coast intensifying into a deep depression.
Bhubaneswar received its highest single-day rain of September in the past 63 years at 195mm over the last 24 hours. Puri received 341mm of rainfall during the same period, its highest in a single day in September, when south-west monsoon is normally on the wane, in 87 years.The port town of Paradip received 219 mm of rainfall in last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the two deceased are a 62-year-old man in Patakura Badabeta village of Kendrapara district, and a 60-year-old woman in Derabis Dihasahi village . Schools have been closed for two days in 12 districts of the state where a red alert has been sounded by the meteorological department, said school and mass education minister Samir Dash.
“The depression intensified into a deep depression and crossed Odisha coast near Chandbali in Bhadrak district on Monday morning. It is very likely to continue to move west north-westwards across north Odisha, north Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh during the next 48 hours. Districts like Puri, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Gajapati, Nayagarh, Kendrapara would witness intense spells of rain,” the regional meteorological department in Bhubaneswar said.
Bhubaneswar saw heritage temples and main roads in knee-deep water. Shopping establishments were flooded while government quarters faced a deluge. In Khandagiri, a three-storey house in Dumduma collapsed on one side due to the heavy rains.
In Behrampur, a 100-year-old building collapsed late on Sunday, though no casualties were reported. The building, Andhra Bhasa Vibardhani, had several old books of Telugu literature.
Noted climatologist and director of Bhubaneswar’s Centre for Environment and Climate Dr Sarat Sahu said the downpour was a result of the system becoming stationary over Bay of Bengal in the last two days. “Though it did not intensify into a cyclone, it packed enough moisture from the Bay of Bengal and was aided by moisture flowing from Arabia sea. When it became stationary, it led to massive amount of rainfall. This kind of rainfall is climate change as it is happening in otehr cities of the country as well as rest of the world,” said Dr Sahu.
Officials in IMD Bhubaneswar said, till Sunday, Odisha had 25% deficit of monsoon rainfall. Following the incessant rainfall, the deficiency would drop below 19%. As the weather system will move to Chhattisgarh by around 10-11pm today, the upper Mahanadi basin in Odisha is going to record very heavy rainfall in the range of 5-10cm in the next 48 hours. As per the Central Water Commission data, the water level in Hirakud reservoir stands at 189.91 mt today against the full reservoir level of 192.02 mt.