Bhubaneswar: Taking note of the heavy rainfall forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the Odisha government has asked district collectors to stay alert to a possible flood situation.
“IMD sources indicate that under the influence of a low pressure area formed over north-west Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood and associated cyclonic circulation, heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to occur in different districts with extremely heavy rainfall at some places during the period from July 20 to 22. Keeping this in view, all the district administrations are directed to remain prepared to meet any flood/waterlogging situation in the district,” Bishnupada Sethi, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) and commissioner-cum-secretary, Disaster Management, in a letter to the district collectors, said on Friday.
He also directed the collectors to ensure round-the-clock functioning of the district emergency operation centre (EOC) and instruct field functionaries to remain present at their respective headquarters and respond to emergency situations.
Besides, the collectors were also told to promptly respond to the State EOC in the SRC office in case of any adverse situation.
Talking to the media, the SRC said there is no immediate flood threat in the state. However, keeping the Met forecast in view, the state government has taken adequate precaution to meet any eventuality, he added.
Apart from the SRC, the Health and Family Welfare department has asked the collectors and chief district medical officers (CDMOs) to ensure proper health care of the rain and flood-affected people.
In a letter, secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Pramod Kumar Meherda has asked them to keep adequate stock of bleaching powder, saline, antibiotics, halogen tablets and other emergency supplies in all health facilities in the vulnerable areas.
He has also directed the district administrations to bring all pregnant women in the remote areas with the expected date of delivery (EDD) falling within next 15, to the nearest and safe maternity waiting homes.
Besides, the collectors have been asked to designate nodal officers for health services and set up round the clock control rooms from Saturday morning.
The IMD has forecast heavy rainfall in 14 districts and very heavy rainfall in two districts in Odisha from Friday with the low pressure formed over the north-west Bay of Bengal intensifying further.
The rainfall which has already started in some parts of the coastal districts on Friday morning, will increase further from Saturday and continue till Tuesday.
While the districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Heavy rain is likely to lash Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Koraput and Nabarangpur will experience heavy rainfall from July 21 to 23, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Nuapada and Balangir districts will have heavy rainfall between Jul 22 and 24.
The Met department has warned the local fishermen not to venture into the sea due to inclement weather. Besides, it has also asked the fishermen, who have gone for deep sea fishing, to return to the coast by daytime.
Meanwhile, road connection in some parts of Malkangiri and Kandhamal districts were disrupted due to heavy rain since Thursday night.
Reports from Malkangiri district said the road connection between Malkangiri and Balimela has been disrupted with rainwater flowing at a height of about 5 feet on a bridge between Korakunda and MV-37 village.
Meanwhile, 17 persons were safely evacuated from one of the probable flood zones in the bank of the Gariyaguda river at Pangam village of Mathili block in Malkangiri district by the Fire brigade and ODRAF team and shifted to a safer place in the evening.
In Kandhamal district, communication between Chakapada and Tikabali has been cut off due to overflowing of rainwater over a bridge near Bastingia village.