Bhubaneswar: Over 4.67 lakh people in 1,757 villages in 10 districts of Odisha have so far been affected by the flood triggered by rainfall, officials said here on Wednesday.
Despite a stoppage of rain for the past three days and a fall in the water flow at the Mundali barrage near Cuttack, flood situation remained grim in the Mahanadi basin system in Odisha.
Due to heavy rainfall and subsequent floods, over 2.5 lakh people in 425 villages have remained marooned while a total of 4.67 lakh people in 10 districts affected, said special relief commissioner (SRC) P.K. Jena.
Over 60,000 people have been evacuated to safer places. Cooking food is being served to the evacuated people at different shelters, Jena said.
Anti-snake venom doses have been supplied to community health centres and primary healthcare centres while 10 vehicles carrying RO plants have been deployed to the flood affected areas of Cuttack, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts.
The SRC said water level at Mundali barrage has reduced to 10.57 lakh cusecs at 6 p.m., and is likely to reduce further within the next few hours.
Flood water is being discharged from Hirakud reservoir through 40 gates. The inflow of flood water from Hirakud reservoir has reduced to 5.80 lakh cusecs while discharge of water remained at 6.69 lakh cusecs.
Due to heavy flow of flood water, two more breaches in river embankments were reported on Wednesday at Kathakote in Jagatsinghpur district. Evacuation has been started in the area. So far, six breaches have been reported in different river systems, he informed.
For the first time after 2011, he said, Odisha is experiencing such a high-level of water flow in the Mahanadi system at Mundali. He, however, said that within the next 24 hours, water flow at Mundali will reduce to 9 lakh cusecs.
The district administrations and engineers of the water resources department are working round-the-clock to tackle the situation and rescue operations are also underway by Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and fire service personnel, Jena said.
The peak flood is now passing through low lying areas of Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur and Puri districts. Water flow will start reducing from tomorrow morning, he said.
“This night is crucial when the peak flood will pass through and reach the sea. Following which, the water level will further recede,” he added.
Holding a review meeting, Odisha Revenue Minister Pramila Mallick asked the Keonjhar, Bhadrak, and Jajpur district collectors to remain on alert for another fresh low pressure likely to be formed over the north Bay of Bengal on August 19.
Meanwhile, all the government and private schools in Puri have been closed for two days — August 17 and 18 in view of the flood.