As incessant rains continued in Odisha for the second day, the National Highway 26 was blocked on Monday due to the flood situation in Kalahandi district. NH-26 connects Raipur in Chhattisgarh and passes through Odisha to connect with Natavalasa in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh.
Earlier on Sunday, several areas in Kalahandi district were severely affected by the floods caused by heavy rains, disrupting road and rail communications. Heavy rains had also lashed Rayagada district, that resulted in swelling of two major rivers causing flash floods in the district. The situation prompted the state government to seek the help of defence forces. The flash floods, followed by an alarming rise in the water levels in the Nagavalli and the Kalyani rivers inundated vast areas, causing extensive damage to bridges and snapping road and railway connectivity in several areas, PTI quoted officials as saying.
Mi-17 V5 helicopters of IAF had been asked for the relief and rescue operations. The choppers, detached for Op-Triveni under the Central Air Command, based at Raipur/Jagdalpur, were on a standby awaiting weather clearance. “As it is not possible to rescue the people through boat and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, the assistance of Indian Air Force is required for the rescue operation and airdrop of relief material in the affected areas of Rayagada district. Four helicopters have been requisitioned,” a defence official had said.