Heavy rainfall triggered by a low-pressure area over the Bay of Bengal has thrown normal life out of gear in several parts of Odisha.This prompted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to call an emergency meeting on Saturday to review the situation. He directed the officials to remain alert to face the flood-like situation in the state."Rainfall in some places is unprecedented. For instance, Puri has recorded 322 mm rainfall during the last 24 hours. In Cuttack, 211 mm rainfall has been recorded in the same period. Around 16 blocks of Odisha have experienced above 200 mm rainfall during the last 24 hours," Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi said.Water level of different rivers is being closely monitored while Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) is on standby to meet any flood-like situation. Besides, control rooms have been set up in various districts, he said.The SRC said that even though several rivers are swelling, most of the rivers are flowing below the danger mark. But it has been predicted that heavy rainfall will continue for the next 48 hours.
The state government has also asked District Collectors not to leave their respective headquarters for at least 48 hours in view of the flood-like situation, Sethi said.Meanwhile, several parts of Odisha including the twin city of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar and pilgrim town Puri were inundated on Saturday.Several areas in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar have been waterlogged following heavy rains since Friday night."There have been heavy rains in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar and we have placed the water pumps into service. The municipal administration is active and wherever necessary, the ODRAF and Fire Department teams are being sent," said Sethi.Looking at the heavy rainfall, all the schools and educational institutions have been closed in the twin cities.Meanwhile, the East Coast Railway has cancelled three trains, two short-terminated and 20 trains regulated due to water logging at Khurda Road Railway station, Bhubaneswar Railway station and Puri yard on Saturday.