Many villages in Odisha marooned, evacuation begins

Bhubaneswar: With incessant rain caused by a series of low pressures over Bay of Bengal leading to swelling of major rivers and flood like situation in many parts of Odisha, evacuation of people has already begun in several low-lying areas.

Revenue and Disaster Minister Sudam Marndi on Thursday said heavy rain in the last couple of days has caused flood in Baitarani and Brahmani rivers. Flood situation has emerged in Bhadrak and Keonjhar districts and many riparian belts in Jajpur, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapada districts. Apprehensive of any eventuality, the respective administrations have already started evacuating people from low-lying areas to safer places in Baripada town, Hatadihi in Keonjhar, Balasore and Jajpur districts, he added.

The Minister informed that two persons in Maturbhanj and one in Keonjhar died in the flood due to the gushing water of the Sanapalia river in Mayurbhanj district. Assessment of damage due to flood will be done once the evacuation drive is completed, Marandi said.

Earlier in the day, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena warned possibility of a medium-level flood in Subarnarekha river system and directed Balasore Collector to keep a close watch on the situation. He asked the Collector to take proactive measures, including evacuation wherever required and begin patrolling on river embankments.

On the status of Subarnarekha river, Jena informed that water level of Subarnarekha river at Chandil dam was at 181 metre by 6 AM today and 323.06 cusec of water was being released through two sluice gates of the dam.

“At 6 AM today, Galudih barrage released 7,312 cumec water. At 6 AM tomorrow, about 8,000 cusec water will be received in Subarnarekha at Rajghat, following which the river level will be around 12 metre against danger level of 10.37 metre. We may receive a medium flood,” the SRC informed.

He added, “Brahmani, Baitarani and Kharasrota river systems are under special watch and all are alert. We are using public address system and getting flood shelters in readiness. Boats are also ready.”

As per weathermen, two rivers-Baitarani and Jalaka- were flowing above their danger level by 6 AM today. Water of Baitarani was flowing at a height of 40.83 metre against danger level of 38.36 metre at Anandpur in Keonjhar and at 19.52 metre against 17.83 metre at Akhuapada in Bhadrak. Similarly, Jalaka river was flowing at 7.05 metre against the danger level of 5.50 level at Mathani in Balasore district.

Floodwater gushed into several Gram Panchayats under Bhandaripokhari and in Dhamnagar blocks in Bhadrak district this morning. Communication between Jajpur Town and Bhandaripokhari has been cut off as 5 ft of floodwater was flowing on the Sarata bridge near Malada in Bhandaripokhari. Besides, vehicular movement between Dhamnagar and Jajpur has also been disrupted due to flooded roads in Dobal.

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