Bhubaneswar, July 17 (IANS) Even as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday said the flood situation in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts of Odisha is improving, the Met Office warned of likely heavy rains in the next 24 hours in the state.
The Meteorological Centre in Bhubaneswar said a well-marked low-pressure area has been formed over the north-west and west-central Bay of Bengal as well as the coastal areas of Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh, which is likely to intensify into a depression during the next 24 hours.
“Heavy to very heavy rains at a few places with extremely heavy rains at one or two places in south Odisha districts and heavy to very heavy rains at one or two places in north districts is likely during 24 hours,” said a weather bulletin.
Issuing a Local Cautionary Signal Number Three warning for all ports in Odisha, the Met Office said strong gusty surface winds from north-easterly direction with speeds reaching 45-55 km per hour and gusting up to 65 kmph are likely to prevail along and off the Odisha coast.
It advised fishermen not to venture into the sea since the conditions there would be rough to very rough.
Meanwhile, Indian Air Force choppers were pressed into rescue and relief operations in Kalyansinghpur block, where people are trapped on rooftops of submerged houses.
The Rayagada district administration started serving cooked food to those sheltered in schools.
It also declared closure of schools and colleges for three days in Kalyansinghpur block in view of the flood situation.
As many as 10 health camps are functioning in Rayagada block and five medical teams providing their services at all relief camps.
“Closely monitoring flood situation; every effort being made to reach the affected with food, medicines and supplies. Air sorties in full swing,” tweeted the Chief Minister.
Several roads and bridges have been damaged in the floods.
An East Coast Railway release said train services were severely affected on the Rayagada-Titlagarh section as a bridge between Theruvali and Singapur was washed away.
Health Minister Pratap Jena held a review meeting with officials and directed them to ensure the flood-affected people were taken care of.
This is published unedited from the IANS feed.