BHUBANESWAR: With the depression over Bay of Bengal intensifying today into a deep depression, heavy downpour battered several parts of Odisha, triggering a flood-like situation and disrupting train services in some areas, a senior official said.
At least three wagons of a goods train derailed in Ambadola station and several trains have been cancelled or diverted due to heavy waterlogging on tracks, a railway official said.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said that torrential rainfall submerged vast areas in Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput, Kandhamal and Gajapati districts in south Odisha.
Malkangiri and Rayagada districts, in particular, are facing a flood-like situation, officials said.
The incessant rain has snapped a road link between the district headquarters town of Malkangiri and Jeypore, besides affecting road connectivity in Balimela, Kalimela, Motu and Padia, they said.
The Meteorological Centre in Bhubaneswar said the depression over northwest Bay of Bengal off the north Odisha-West Bengal coasts has intensified into a deep depression.
The deep depression now lay centred about 70 km southeast of Balasore in Odisha and 70 km south southwest of Digha in West Bengal, it said.
Under its influence, moderate rain or thundershowers occurred in most places in Odisha and heavy to very heavy rain was received in some areas, mostly in the southern region.
Heavy to very heavy rain is likely to pound several areas till August 9, it said.
As many as 21 shelter centres and relief camps have been opened in Malkangiri district and people from marooned areas are being evacuated to these places, Malkangiri District Collector Manish Agarwal said.
The water level of the Sileru, Saberi and Saptadhara rivers, flowing in the district, was rising.
Malkangiri district recorded an average rainfall of 129.26 mm since Tuesday, the officials said.
In view of the heavy rainfall, all schools in the district have been asked to declare a holiday on Wednesday, the Malkangiri district collector said.
The situation was grim in Rayagada district with the water level in Vansadhara river rising alarmingly and the rain water inundating vast swathes, the officials said.
As the downpour washed away soil and ballast below the tracks between Dolkalu and Ambadola stations in Rayagada-Titlagarh section, at least four trains were cancelled, eight diverted and half-a-dozen trains were partially cancelled on Wednesday, an East Coast Railway (ECoR) spokesman said.
Three wagons of a goods train derailed and were damaged due to gushing waters in Ambadola station.
Relief trains have been rushed to the spot and the authorities are waiting for the water level to recede.
Around 100 metres of ballast had been washed away and water is still flowing on the tracks, he said “Restoration work will begin as soon as the water recedes,” he said.
Two track patrolmen – S Naidu and M Ramana – who sounded an alert will be awarded, the spokesperson said.
As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD) report, Malkangiri, Rayagada Koraput, Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Kalahandi and Puri received heavy rainfall since Tuesday.
Heavy to very heavy rain is likely to lash a few places in Gajapati, Boudh, Sonepur, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Cuttack, Dhenkanal and Nayagarh districts, it said.
The Met Centre also forecast heavy downpour in some areas in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Khurda, Angul, Rayagada, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts till Thursday.
Heavy to very heavy rainfall may occur at a few places in Sonepur, Jharsuguda, Angul, Dhenkanal, Kalahandi, Bargarh and Sundargarh districts till Thursday, it said.
Fishermen in the coastal areas of Odisha and West Bengal have been advised not to venture into the sea till August 10.
The Met department has also advised hoisting of Local Cautionary Signal Number Three (LC-III) at all the ports in Odisha.
In view of the weather forecast, the SRC on Tuesday issued an advisory and cautioned about the likelihood of flood and waterlogging in different parts of the districts where heavy to very heavy rainfall has been predicted.
The SRC said that field officials should remain prepared to evacuate people from vulnerable locations to safe shelters.
Fire service teams are in a state of preparedness to carry out search and rescue operation, whenever necessary.
Teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) are also ready for operation in some areas of Malkangiri and Rayagada, the officials said.
Steps are being taken to restrict people and vehicles from using submerged roads and bridges, they said.