Bhubaneswar, Aug 4 : With heavy rains for the past three days claiming two lives and raising fear of flood in some rivers, Odisha government today alerted 12 districts for any eventuality as more rain is likely to pound some areas due to a low pressure. Collectors of 12 districts were asked to remain watchful and gear up to meet any eventuality in the event of possible flood, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Mohapatra told reporters after the situation was reviewed at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.

He said the districts where alert was sounded are Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda, Cuttack, Boudh, Nayagarh and Keonjhar. The chief minister stressed the need to evacuate people from low lying areas in time and make arrangements for free cooked food and relief, Mohapatra said, adding vulnerable points in river embankments would be kept under the vigil and steps taken for availability of drinking water and medicines.

As heavy rains pounded many parts of the state over the last three days, several areas were inundated and submerged, the SRC said, adding normal life was thrown out of gear in Sambalpur which received over 336.8 mm rainfall during a very short span yesterday. Over 4,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas in Sambalpur to safe places and as many as 22 free kitchen centres opened for them, Mohapatra said.

While one person was killed in wall collapse in Boudh district yesterday, another washed away in gushing water in Sambalpur district, he said, adding the death toll in rains and floods this monsoon stood at 16. Over 8.43 lakh cusec of water was flowing in the river Mahanadi at Munduli, the SRC said, adding the flow could rise upto a maximum of 10 lakh cusec with 11 sluice gates opened at Hirakud Dam.

“While there is no need for worry, some areas like Athagarh and Banki in Cuttack district and parts of Nayagarh and Boudh may be flooded with backwaters,” he said. Four districts of Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Keonjhar and Sundargarh are expected to get more rains by tomorrow due to a low pressure. As a result, fear of floods may arise in rivers like Budhabalang and Subarnerekha, he said.

Road communication in Kalahandi district has been hit with flood water of river Hati submerging a bridge at Junagarh since last evening. Incessant rains also wreaked havoc in urban centres including the state capital of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack where many low-lying areas were submerged paralysing normal life and vehicular traffic.

The MET office said isolated extremely heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur at one or two places over north Odisha during the next 24 hours. Similarly, heavy rainfall would also occur at one or two places over south Odisha during the period, Director of local MET centre, Sarat Sahu said. Apart from Sambalpur, Balasore and adjoining areas also received reports of heavy downpour and recorded 226.4 mm rainfall yesterday, he said.

Train services were affected in Koraput-Rayagada section of East Coast Railway since yesterday due to incessant heavy rains leaving many passengers stranded for hours. Because of heavy downpour boulders and clay mounds came crashing on the railway tracks between Rauli and Tikiri railway stations blocking railway traffic, Station Superintendent, Tikiri Hembram said.