Many parts of Odisha, including Malkangiri which is hit by flash flood, saw widespread rainfall on Thursday following the formation of a low pressure area (LOPAR) over the Bay of Bengal off the state's coast, the weatherman said. There was also an incident of landslide during the day in Malkangiri district.
An IMD bulletin said that the LOPAR was formed under the influence of cyclonic circulation over the Bay of Bengal and under its influence squally weather with gusty surface wind speed reaching 40 to 50 km per hour is very likely along and off the Odisha coast from July 20 to 22.
The weather office advised fishermen not to venture into the sea during this period. The circulation is likely to move across Odisha during the next two days and trigger light to moderate widespread precipitation with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall across the state till July 24, it said.
The IMD forecast the forming of another low pressure area on July 24 and issued both orange and yellow warnings till 8.30 AM on July 21. The orange warning (be prepared) has been issued as heavy to very heavy rainfall of 7 to 20 cm is very likely to occur at isolated places over the districts of Nuapada, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Bargarh, Boudh, Sonepur, Sambalpur between 8.30 a m of Friday to 8.30 a m of Saturday.
The IMD issued yellow warning (be updated) of heavy rainfall which is likely to occur at one or two places over the districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Nawarangapur, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Gajapati, Ganjam, Angul, Nayagarh, Cuttack and Dhenkanal between 8.30 a m of Friday to 8.30 a m of Saturday.
The IMD also warned of possible landslides in the hilly areas of Malkangiri, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Ganjam and Gajapati districts. A report from Malkangiri district said that at least 19 villages of Nakamamudi panchayat were cut off following a landslide at Bayapada ghat due to incessant rainfall on Thursday. Chunks of rocks and soil came crashing onto the road from the hill disrupting vehicular movement.
The landslide has affected over 3,000 people residing in the area, an official said. The weatherman said that Chitrakonda block in Malkangiri recorded the highest rainfall recorded of 199 mm followed by 185 mm in Korukonda block, 183.2 mm in Malkangiri block and 114.0 mm in Kalimela block in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Satybrata Sahoo reviewed the situation created due to low pressure and asked district collectors to remain prepared for the eventuality.
“The collectors of Malkangiri, Koraput and Kalahandi districts have been advised by the SRC to take all preparedness measures to meet any eventuality in view of the low pressure. Other district collectors have been asked to keep a constant vigil on the situation,” an official statement issued by the revenue and disaster management department said.
The SRC also directed the district collectors to ensure that all senior officers and field officers of all departments to remain present at their headquarters in view of the rain.
He instructed officers of the water resources department to make field visits and inspect weak and vulnerable pockets and keep in readiness men and materials to meet any eventuality. In urban areas there may be water logging in low lying places and roads and drains may be submerged due to the rain, he added.