The flood situation has aggravated in 12 districts of north, central and coastal Odisha following rise in water levels of major rivers like Mahanadi, Baitarani, Budhabalang and Subarnarekha and their tributaries.
The situation has particularly worsened due to incessant rains, triggered by a low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, during the last three days. The local met office sources said, the rains will continue for another 24 hours before the climatic condition improves.
As a result, millions of people in these districts have been affected with swelling river water overflowing the banks and entering the villages. Besides, there was severe water logging in many coastal towns including twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar due to continuous rains affecting thousands of residents.
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The districts hit by the current flood situation are Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Keonjhar, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapada, Puri, Khurdha, Jagatsingpur, Cuttack, Boudh and Nayagarh.
The state government has alerted collectors of these 12 districts to meet all exigencies.
“The collectors of these districts have been asked to evacuate the people from low lying areas and make arrangements for free kitchens for the affected,” said Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra after attending a high level meeting chaired by Chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
The chief minister has asked the concerned departments to keep watch on the weak river embankments by deploying mobile teams in these areas, keep adequate stocks of fodder and make arrangements for supply of drinking water and health services. Mohapatra said the four districts namely Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Keonjhar and Sundergarh were particularly vulnerable since the met department had predicted heavy rain falls in these areas under the influence of the low pressure, which lay over west Midnapore in neighbouring West Bengal this morning.
Low lying areas of Athgarh and Banki sub divisions in Cuttack district and Khandapada in Nayagarh district and most areas in Boudh district were inundated by the floodwater of Mahanadi. The collectors of these districts have been directed to evacuate the people from the low lying areas, said the SRC.
By this evening, 9.18 lakh cusecs of water was flowing through Mahanadi river at Mundali barrage near Cuttack.
“We are expecting about 10 lakh cusec of water will flow through Mahanadi at Mundali today night. With our experience of 2011 when 14 lakh cusecs of water had flown through the barrage, there is no threat of a severe flood situation if there is no further rains,” he anticipated.
Hirakud Dam on the Mahanadi river is releasing water through 17 gates. As the water level at the dam is receding there is no need to open more gates. “We will take a call on this tomorrow only,” said Biswajit Mohanty, chief engineer of Hirakud Dam.
Sambalpur and Balasore districts have witnessed highest rainfall recorded at 336.8 millimetre and 226.4 millimetre respectively.
Meanwhile, the human casualty due to floods have gone up to 16 with the death of a person in wall collapse in Boudh yesterday.