Odisha prepares for possible rain-triggered flash floods

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 9 (PTI) The Odisha government on Wednesday began preparing for the evacuation of people from low-lying areas and other mitigation measures after the MeT Department forecast flash floods triggered by possible extremely heavy rain from June 10-14, officials said.

The state government issued orders to the collectors of all the districts and commissioners of five municipal corporations to prepare for the evacuation.

The administration also asked authorities concerned to keep cyclone and flood shelters ready to evacuate people living in kutcha houses.

'Evacuating people during COVID-19 pandemic poses a great challenge. If evacuation is required, social distancing, wearing of masks covering mouth and nose may be ensured during the process,' State Relief Commissioner P K Jena said.

The engineers may keep a close watch on embankment, especially weak and vulnerable points in rivers and canals, he said.

The districts were told to keep all flood-fighting materials ready at strategic locations and take immediate action to clear drainage channels for the free flow of floodwaters.

Jena, in a letter to the district collectors and commissioners of the civic bodies, said that the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that under the influence of a low-pressure area likely to be formed over north Bay of Bengal, many districts will experience heavy rain from June 10-14.

During such intense and continuous rainfall, flash flood-like situations may occur in rivers, nullahs and water bodies, he said.

'In hilly areas, landslides may occur. Water-logging may be experienced in different parts including urban and rural low-lying areas,' he said, asking them to take measures to prevent loss of life or major damages to properties.

The IMD has issued red, orange and yellow warnings to different districts till June 14. It said squally weather with surface wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is likely to prevail.

Fishermen were advised not to venture into deep seas during this period. PTI AAM ACD ACD