Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 30:
With little rainfall in the last 24 hours, there has been a slight improvement in the flood situation in five North Odisha districts.
Reports said a 10-year-old boy, Sima Jena, was swept away by floodwater of Baitarani at Lalbag Balighai under Panasa panchayat in Jajpur block yesterday eleven as the bodies of the two persons swept away by the surging waters of Budhabalanga in Baleswar yesterday were recovered by ODRAF personnel this morning.
Reports reaching here from Bhadrak districts said 20 villages of Aradi, Nandapur and Sundarpur panchayats under Chandbali block have been surrounded by floodwater following a 15-feet long breach in the Baitarani embankment at Olaga last night.
However, the breach has been sealed by the villagers and Water Resources department staff of Dhamnagar block.
Another breach took place in the Baitarani embankment at Sathibankuda near Aradi under Chadbali block yesterday. Though the villagers had closed the breach with the help of the Water Resources department staff, the breach opened again at about 1 AM. As a result, floodwater has entered nearby villages.
“There is no further rise in the water level of the river since there was no rainfall yesterday and this morning. We expect that the water level of the river would come down below the danger mark by noon,”, said Rajendra Kumar Panda, Emergency Officer, Bhadrak.
The water level in the Baitarani river, flowing at a height of 19.26 metre against the danger mark of 17.83 metre at Akhuapada till 9 PM yesterday, has come down to 17.91 metre this morning, reports said.
In Jajpur district, floodwaters of Budha and Kani rivers, the tributaries of Bairatani, have entered several villages of Dasarathpur, Jajpur and Korei blocks following two breaches in the embankments of Baitarani and Kani rivers yesterday. About 16 villages of seven panchayats under Korei block are surrounded by floodwater.
Due to overflowing floodwater at Michuali on Amrutia-Tarakot road, road communication between Panikoili and Tarakot has been disrupted while the district administration has failed to reach out to the affected villages.
The people of the affected villages have complained that no assistance from the district administration has reached them so far.
Meanwhile, the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams and the Fire brigade personnel have been deployed in the flood-hit areas of the district for rescue and relief works.
In Keonjhar district, the flood situation was improving as there was no overnight rain in the upper catchments. At Anandpur, floodwaters of Baitarani was flowing under the danger mark.
There was slight improvement in the flood situation in Mayurbhanj and Baleswar districts with gradual recession of floodwaters in Subararekha and Budhabalanga rivers, the reports added.