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Odisha on alert as IMD predicts heavy rainfall after Hudhud landfall

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said, the Odisha government has taken all precautionary measures and is closely watching the situation to deal with possible floods after landfall of cyclone Hud Hud at Visakhapatnam has led to heavy downpour in southern Odisha districts, adjoining north Andhra Preadesh.

Meanwhile, three people have died in Puri, Kendrapara and Ganjam districts of Odisha in last 24 hours due to drowning and wall collapse in the run up to the cyclone striking the coast today.

Though the deaths were not because of direct impact of cyclone, these were caused by conditions induced by the approaching storm, said the official sources.

The south Odisha districts continued to be lashed by torrential rains, which is projected by weathermen to continue till October 15. This has raised the prospect of flooding of some major rivers and consequent damage to people living in the low lying areas.

In view of such possibilities, the state government has undertaken massive evacuation of people from vulnerable areas.

“67, 752 people have been evacuated in Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Puri, Kendrapada and Khurdha districts to 604 safe shelters. We are constantly monitoring the situation and taking all possible precautions,” he said after presiding over a review meeting on the cyclone situation and its effect in Odisha after Hudhud made landfall at around 11.30 AM at Visakhapatnam.

Wind speed in south Odisha districts remained at about 70 km per hour as the storm made the landfall, uprooting a few trees and electric poles in those areas.  The effect of the cyclonic storm has so far been limited.

According to a forecast of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), eight southern Odisha districts are expected to receive heavy rainfall due to the tropical cyclone that is expected to lose intensity after the landfall and reach Chhattisgarh in the shape of depression on Monday.

The rainfalls would be upto 250 mm is districts such as Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Nawarangpur, Ganjam, Gajpati, Kalahandi, Nayagarh, Khurda,Puri, Nawapara, Boudh, Bolangir, Sonepur and Phulbani in next 24 hours with wind speed reaching 80-90 km per hour, it said in its latest bulletin.

Odisha government said, it was taking all steps for possible flood situations rather than the storm.

“We are more worried about flood situation now than the cyclone,” said Pradeep Kumar Mohapatra, special relief commissioner of Odisha.

Power supplies are intact in major areas of the state barring a few places close to north Andhra Pradesh. The state government has already ordered release of water from large reservoirs situated at hydropower stations in south Odisha.

“Water Resources department says it has not detected flood conditions in any of the southern Odisha rivers. Anyways, we have asked the department to lower water level in reservoirs by 2-3 meters expecting heavy rain as per IMD forecast. So we hope excess rainfall would not create flood situation,” said Suresh Mohapatra, state energy secretary.

Major reservoirs of the state are located at Koraput , Malkanagiri and south of Kalahandi districts, where IMD has predicted heavy rainfall.

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