Bhubaneswar, September 14: The deep depression that wrecked havoc in Odisha for the past two days has crossed the state and entered neighbouring Chhatisgarh on Tuesday but not before claiming four human lives, affecting over 20 lakh people and causing destruction.
The depression caused rain in all the 30 districts of the state. In the two days since Monday after the depression over the Bay of Bengal crossed Odisha coast near Bhadrak, the state received an average 155.9 mm rainfall triggering floods in urban and rural areas, an official at the Special Relief Commissioner's (SRC) office said.
The precipitation was the highest in Angul and Sonepur districts, which received over 300 mm of rainfall. Talcher in Angul district received the highest rainfall of 394 mm followed by 372 mm at Birmaharajpur in Sonepur district. Eighteen districts got rainfall in the range of 200 mm to 300 mm and the remaining ten received 100 to 200 mm rainfall, the official said.
The depression over north Chhattisgarh and adjoining north interior Odisha has now moved further west-northwestwards at a speed of 12 kmph and lay centered at about 80 km south-southwest of Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh and about 190 km east-northeast of Raipur, the IMD said in its latest bulletin.
The system is very likely to weaken into a well marked low pressure area during the next 24 hours and continue to move west-northwestwards across Madhya Pradesh during the next 48 hours, it said.
SRC P.K. Jena said that the calamity has affected over 20.46 lakh people in 3696 villages and 27 urban local bodies spread over 20 districts. “As many as 13,534 people staying in low laying areas were evacuated and kept in shelters for safety,” he said adding that preliminary report indicated that about 2,870 houses have been damaged due to pounding rains on Monday and Tuesday.
The calamity has also caused severe damage to about 100 roads and left 25 villages marooned.
As per preliminary reports received from districts there have been four human causalities, including a three-year-old girl in a wall collapse in Ganjam in southern Odisha. Two persons also died due to wall collapse in Kendrapara district, the SRC said adding one man in Khurda district drowned.
One person is missing in Nischintakoili block of Cuttack district, he said.
With the water levels of almost all rivers rising due to the heavy rain that pounded Odisha for the last 36 hours, the state government asked all the district collectors to evacuate people from low-lying areas.
The engineer-in-chief of the water resources department, Dhiren Kumar Samal, however, said there was no such flood fear now.
Baitarani river was flowing at 18.30 m against the danger level of 17.83 m at Akhuapada and Jalaka river in Balasore district was flowing at 6.37 m against the danger mark of 5.5 m at Mathani.
Rivers like Mahanadi, Subarnarekha and Budhabalang though showing a rising trend are flowing much below the danger level, an official of the water resources department said adding that constant vigil is maintained at different places to avert destruction due to flooding.
With preliminary report indicating extensive damages, the SRC has asked the district collectors to submit a damage assessment report within a week. In a letter to the collectors, Jena said the submission of the damage assessment report by September 22, 2021 will help in disbursing funds to the affected people at the earliest.
He directed the collectors to process cases of human casualties online expeditiously through the Disaster Assistance Monitoring and Payment System (DAMPS) for sanction and payment of ex-gratia to the next of kin of the deceased.
His letter said geo tagged and time stamped photograph of damaged houses and crop area must be taken during assessment and preserved in case records. In instances of damage to houses, photos of the beneficiaries may be taken along with the damaged house at the background.
If houses were fully damaged or severely inundated for more than two days, the affected household must be provided with assistance for clothing and utensils in addition to the prescribed house building assistance, it stated.
Joint teams of revenue, agriculture and horticulture departments personnel will carry out crop loss assessment, the letter said.
The district administrations were also directed to start disbursement among people, who suffered damages due to the incessant rain, out of the available funds without waiting for allotment from the SRC.
Jena said disbursement must be done through DBT so that the amount gets transferred to the accounts of the beneficiaries. During assessment and enumeration bank account details of the eligible beneficiaries must be collected.
The district administrations were asked to provide polythene to the affected households immediately.
The state government has declared heavy rain as state specific disaster due to which expenditure on relief measures, immediate repair and restoration of the damaged public infrastructure will be met from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).