Odisha Government on Wednesday sounded a flood alert in 11 districts following heavy rainfall in lower catchment areas of Mahanadi river over the past few days, officials said.
The situation in western Odisha eased during the day with the intensity of rains lessening and water in submerged areas receding, they said
Due to the heavy rainfall in the Mahanadi lower catchment areas around 11.5 lakh cusec of flood water is likely to be discharged at Mundali in Cuttack on Thursday morning, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said.
This is likely to cause a "medium flood" in river Mahanadi and its distributaries, Sethi said.
Secretary to the water resources department, P K Jena said there is not much cause for worry but people should stay alert about possible flood, he said.
The SRC said the district administrations of Bolangir, Subarnapur, Boudh, Angul, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Khordha, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Kendrapada and Jajpur have been asked to remain prepared to deal with the impending flood.
As per Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's directive, collectors of these districts have been alerted and advised to intensify river embankment patrolling as high volume of water is likely to flow in the Mahanadi river.
One sluice gate of the Hirakud Dam was opened on Wednesday for a few hours to release the first flood waters of the season.
Huge volume of water was not released from Hirakud in view of the flood situation downstream, an official said adding floodwaters from the dam may be discharged later if needed.
"It (opening of the sluice gate) is only symbolic. There is nothing much to worry as it will not lead to alarming rise in the river water level," the SRC said allaying fears.
The water level at the dam stood at 619.47 ft at 6 PM as against full reservoir capacity of 630 ft. Water inflow into the dam was 1,82,225 cusec and outflow 15,382 cusec, he said.
Discharge of flood water at Khairmal was 5,14,000 cusec, while it was 9,20,500 cusec at Barmul and 5,35,672 cusec at Munduli in Cuttack.
Water level of Mahanadi river at Naraj in Cuttack rose to 26.10 metre at 6 PM as against the danger level of 26.41 metre, he said adding water level in all the major rivers in the state is now below the danger level.
Sethi said the collectors of the 11 districts have been asked to immediately activate district emergency operation centres and control rooms of different departments which should function round the clock.
As many as 15 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and three NDRF teams have been deployed in those districts, he said.
Fire service teams available in the districts may be deployed to carry out search and rescue operations and assist in evacuation operations. Special relief boats available at different places in the districts should be kept ready with crew for rescue and flood relief operations, Sethi said.
Meanwhile, the rain-ravaged districts of Boudh, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Kandhamal and Subarnapur in western Odisha are limping back to normalcy as the downpour abated and water started receding from submerged areas, he said.
Patnaik, who on reviewed the rain and flash flood situation in the western districts on Tuesday, has announced gratuitous relief for seven days for the affected people.
While Rs 60 will be paid per adult person per day, Rs 45 would be given per day for each child, an official said.
More than two lakh people were affected in the recent heavy rain and flash floods in 134 villages and six urban areas of 19 blocks spread over seven districts, the SRC said.
Nearly 50,000 people were evacuated from vulnerable and marooned areas to safe shelters and 124 free kitchens were opened for providing them with food, he said adding that the situation is gradually improving.
Sethi said two districts recorded average rainfall of more than 100 mm since Tuesday. While Bolangir received 145.1 mm rainfall, Bargarh recorded 112.5 mm.
Maximum rainfall was recorded in Bolangir block which recorded precipitation of 555 mm till 10 am on Wednesday, followed by Puintala with 333 mm and Deogaon with 238 mm. All the blocks are located in Bolangir district.
As may as 17 more blocks have recorded rainfall of 100 mm and above since Tuesday, he said.
There was severe water logging at Tarva in Subarnapur district but most of it has receded.
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