Climate Change

Climate change is real: After near-drought, Odisha deluged due to four days of heavy rain

Some 24 of Odisha’s 30 districts had faced a drought-like situation according to the rainfall report from June 1-August 25, 2021

By Ashis Senapati
Published: Tuesday 14 September 2021
A flood-affected district in Kendrapara district, Odisha. Photo: Ashis Senapati

Large swathes of Odisha were waterlogged September 14, 2021 and major rivers flowing above the danger mark after four days of heavy rains triggered by a low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal.

This comes within weeks of Down To Earth’s report of just six of Odisha’s 30 districts having received normal rains this monsoon.

The Jalaka and Baitarani were flowing above the danger mark. The water level of the Hirakud dam on the Mahanadi stood at 626.27 feet, against its storage capacity of 630 feet. 

Ten districts in Odisha recorded rainfall above 200 mm whereas nine districts got rainfall between 100 and 200 mm in the past 24 hours, Odisha Special Relief Commission Pradeep Jena said September 14.

The highest-ever rainfall was recorded in Angul and Sonepur districts. Talcher in Angul recorded the maximum rainfall of 394 mm, Biramaharajpur in Sonepur saw 372 mm rainfall and Sonepur town received 282.8 mm rainfall, respectively during the period, Jena added.

Similarly, Boudhgarh in Boudh recorded 262 mm rainfall, Jena said. It was followed by:

  • Patnagarh in Balangir (251 mm)
  • Banarpal in Angul (245.6 mm)
  • Balangir (240 mm)
  • Hindol in Dhenkanal (239 mm)
  • Paikmal in Bargarh (237 mm)
  • Kantamal in Boudh (232 mm)
  • Parjang in Dhenkanal (226 mm)
  • Belpada in Balangir (217 mm)
  • Bari in Jajpur (211 mm)
  • Phiringia in Kandhamal (209.8 mm)
  • Gaisilet in Bargarh (206.2 mm)
  • Mahanga in Cuttack (205 mm)
  • Angul (201 mm)

There have been reports of damage to private property besides some human casualties due to heavy rainfall and the consequent localised flooding. The administration will assess damage to property in different sectors such as housing, crop loss, loss of livestock and pay compensation to affected people, Jena said. 

According to the Odisha Relief Code, ‘heavy rain’ would mean three days or more of uninterrupted rainfall, the total amounting to at least three times that month’s average rainfall. 

Moderate rainfall was also reported September 14. One or two intense spells of rain were likely to affect some parts of Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Sundergarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Balangir, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Boudh and Sonepur, HR Biswas, director, India Meteorological Department’s Regional Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar, said.

Officials of rain- affected districts had stocked rice, flattened rice, molasses, kerosene and other items in all the Gram Panchayat offices and in block headquarters to provide help to affected people during emergency situations. 

The officials had been directed not to leave their respective headquarters without informing the district administrations, Jena said.

A goods train derailed and six coaches fell into the Nandira river between Angul and Talcher Road under the Dhenkanal-Sambalpur rail section in the East Coast Railway early morning September 14. The accident happened after a portion of the railway track was washed away due to heavy rain.

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