Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 28:
Following incessant and heavy rainfall in the upper catchments, the threat of a flood looms large in five districts in the north and coastal Odisha.
The floodwaters rising in four major rivers—Baitarani, Brahmani, Budhabalanga and Subarnarekha—with Baitarani crossing the danger mark. The state government has asked the collectors of Keonjhar, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Dhenkanal and Kendrapara districts to remain on high alert.
Till reports last came in, floodwater in Baitarani was flowing above the danger mark at Anandpur in Keonjhar and Akhuapada in Bhadrak district. As a result, floodwaters have entered into the low-lying areas in Jajpur district.
Talking to the media, Jajpur collector Satya Kumar Mallick said there is a possibility that Dasrathpur and Jajpur blocks would be affected by the flood.
“We have requested the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) to provide us with boats and personnel for rescue and relief work. The boats available with us have already been deployed by the local BDOs in the affected areas of the district. We have sufficient stock of relief materials for at least a month,” Mallick said.
Meanwhile, road communication between Keonjhar and Ghatagon was disrupted today as a bypass at Katraguda on National Highway-215 was swept away by the floodwaters. Besides, floodwater was flowing over Suapada-Balibari road at Shankarpur.
Reports from Bhadrak district said several areas of Bhandaripokhari and Dhamnagar blocks have been inundated with floodwater while the people of Chandbali block living near river embankments are panicky due to rising water level of the river.
Apart from Baitarani, floodwaters of Brahmani, Budhabalanga and Subarnarekha in north Odisha were also rising, the reports said.
In Mayurbhanj district, the floodwaters of Budhabalanga entered the low-lying areas of Baripada town this afternoon.
The district administration has shifted the affected people to safer places.
“Heavy rains in Similipal has triggered flood in Budhabalanga river. The district administration is ready to tackle flood situation,” said collector Rajesh Prabhakar Patil.
Briefing the media in Bhubaneswar, Water Resources secretary PK Jena said the first floodwaters would be released through the Rengali dam at any time tomorrow.
“We have asked the people in the riverside area to remain on alert as the floodwaters would be released any time tomorrow. The release of floodwaters from the dam might affect the low-lying areas in Kendrapara and Dhenkanal district,” Jena said.