Floods triggered by low pressure induced rains wreaked havoc in cyclone-hit Ganjam and other coastal districts of Odisha, leaving 10 persons dead and lakhs marooned as helicopters launched rescue operations on Friday.
Of the 10 deaths, six, including four members of a family were killed in wall collapse in Jagatsinghpur district and four others were swept away in floods in Ganjam district, Special Relief Commissioner, P K Mohapatra said.
He said that around 85,000 persons have been evacuated to safety so far.
Three helicopters began rescue operation in Ganjam district where the situation remained a cause of concern as rivers Rushikulya and Ghodahada were in spate, the SRC said.
Helicopters were also being used to evacuate people sheltering on rooftops in Ganjam district where above one lakh people were marooned, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro said.
All rivers in Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada and Nayagarh districts were overflowing, he said. Describing the flood situation in Ganjam as grim, Patro said thousands of people were trapped by flood waters in Aska, Sorada, Hinjili, Sergarh, Belaguntha, Rangelunda blocks as also in Gajapati district.
Also affected were Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Jajpur districts.
Nine persons sheltering on a tree near Aska were rescued on Thursday night with the National Disaster Response Force and Odisha Disaster Response Force on the job, Ganjam Collector Kishan Kumar said.
Many places have now become inaccessible and relief teams could only reach them after the waters receded. The state government announced closure of schools and colleges in coastal districts in view of the floods.
Incessant rains for last five days left low-lying areas of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack inundated affecting traffic. Though the intensity of rain was likely to decline, there was heavy rain in the catchment areas of rivers such as Rushikulya, Budhabalang and Baitarani, Director of the IMD centre, Sarat Chandra Sahu said.
Though rains were likely to continue till October 27, the situation would start improving shortly, he said. Train services were disrupted between Khurda Road and Palasa with railway tracks being submerged in several areas, railway officials said.
Several trains were diverted.