Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 5:
Even though rains have subsided somewhat in the last few hours, several rivers of Odisha are still flowing above danger marks deluging many parts of the state and keeping the state government on its toes.
The state government has stepped up rescue operations to evacuate thousands of vulnerable people even as 23 people have died so far in rain and flood-related incidents.The rescued people are being provided cooked food, informed Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Mohapatra.
Mohapatra said that relief materials, including dry food and medicines, have been made available in affected areas and ODRAF teams have been dispatched to the affected areas to evacuate the marooned people.
The SRC, however, informed that barring Jajpur and Bhadrak, the situation was likely to improve in the rest of the state following respite from rains that pounded many parts for the last four days.
The swollen Baitarani, which is rising at Akhuapada in in Jajpur district, has affected around 50,000 people in the district where over 2,000 persons have been evacuated from marooned villages to relief centres .
Jajpur District Collector Anil Samal said three blocks of Dasrathpur, Korei and Jajpur are the worst hit but the administration was fully prepared to deal with the situation.
In Bhadrak district, about 40,000 people in around nine panchayats were affected by the swirling flood waters. The water level in Baitarani stood at 41 metres as against the danger mark of 38.36 mts at Anandpur in Keonjhar district, while the river was flowing at 20.06 mts at Akhuapada where the danger level is 17.83 mts, he said.
Meanwhile, several rivers are flowing above their danger marks forcing people to search for safe places.
River Mahanadi was flowing at 26.50 mts at Naraj near Cuttack against the danger level of 26.41 mts, while around 9.87 lakh cusecs of water was flowing in the river at Munduli. The volume could increase with the release of more water from the Hirakud dam in the next few hours, sources said.
As upper catchment areas of Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh have received more rainfall, several sluice gates of Hirakud dam, besides the 15 already opened, are likely to be opened. The water level in Hirakud reservoir stood at 624.25 ft against its full capacity of 630 ft.
Kushabhadra and Devi rivers are showing rising trend and are about to touch the warning level. Baitarani river is flowing at 312.62m while the danger level is 311.10m. Subarnarekha is flowing above the danger level at Jamsolaghat while it is showing a steady rise at Jamshedpur.
Burhabalanga river is flowing at 8.36m above danger mark at NH5, Govindpur. Rushikulya river is also showing a rising trend at two places.