Heavy rainfall starts in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Strong wind and heavy rainfall started Sunday in southern Odisha districts leading to disruption in power supply with severe cyclonic storm 'Hudhud' nearing its coast.

Many trees have been uprooted, snapping electric wires and disrupting power supply in various parts of the state.

Sarat Sahu, director of the India Meteorological Department at Bhubaneswar, said that wind speed ranging from 70-80 km per hour gusting to 90 km per hour will prevail along north Andhra Pradesh and southern Odisha coasts.

The wind speed will gradually increase to 80-90 km per hour along and off adjoining districts of southern Odisha - Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput and Malkangiri.

Sahu said many parts of Odisha will experience heavy to very heavy rainfall during the day.

The Odisha government has asked the private bus owners and Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) not to ply buses in five districts during the cyclone to avoid possible accidents due snapping of power lines.

It has asked the bus owners to keep their fleet off the road in Gajapati, Ganjam, Malkangiri, Koraput and Rayagada districts.

The government has evacuated 67,752 people to safe places and cyclone centres in the southern districts. While about 30,000 people have been evacuated from Gajapati alone, 7,900 people have been evacuated from Ganjam district, 13,282 from Koraput, 6,000 from Malkangiri and 2,000 from Rayagada, said Special Relief Commissioner Pradipta Mohapatra.

The state government has deployed 25 units of National Disaster Response Force and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force to carry out rescue operations.

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