Odisha: Govt evacuates people from low-lying areas amid flood threat in northern districts


The district administration of Odishas Balasore and Mayurbhanj has launched a massive evacuation drive in low-lying areas, as it gears up to combat flooding in the Subarnarekha and Baitarani river systems, officials said Sunday.

The state is already reeling under the impact of a medium flood in the Mahanadi river system following incessant rainfall, which has affected above seven lakh people, of whom nearly 5 lakh are still marooned in 763 villages, they said. Meanwhile, the death toll in rain and flood-related incidents rose to six, with rescue teams recovering bodies of at least two persons in Kuchinda area of Sambalpur district.

Earlier, four people, including two minor girls, were killed following a wall collapse on Friday night. The water level in all the rivers located in north Odisha are in spate due to heavy rainfall induced by a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal, and subsequent flood water release from Jharkhand through the Galudih barrage, the officials said.

Involve functionaries of the panchayati raj system, women self-help groups and others concerned in evacuating people from low-lying areas, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said in a message to the district collectors of Balasore and Mayurbhanj. He said the authorities of Galudih barrage in Jharkhand have discharged around 5 lakh cusecs of water through 16 sluice gates, which has swelled the water level in the Subarnarekha system.

Jena said the neighbouring state has also received very high precipitation due to Fridays deep depression.

The Jalaka and Budhabalang river systems are flooded and people are being shifted to safer locations, Balasore District Collector Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde said.

Jena said medium flooding is expected in river Baitarani.

The SRC said more than 50 small rescue teams comprising personnel of the NDRF, ODRAF and Fire Service have been deployed in Balasore and Mayurbahnj districts, while similar arrangements have also been made in Bhadrak and Jajpur.

Water Resources Department Chief Engineer B K Mishra said there is an improvement in the flood situation in the Mahanadi delta.

Rainfall activity has subsided in the upper catchment area of the Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh. The flood situation will improve further in the next couple of days, Mishra said.

In its latest bulletin, the IMD said the deep depression has now weakened into a depression over northwest Chhattisgarh and adjoining northeast Madhya Pradesh & southeast Uttar Pradesh.

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