**Bhubaneswar/ Balasore:** As the water level of Subarnarekha river crossed the danger mark of 10.36 metre at Rajghat in Balasore district and touched 11 metre on Friday morning, flood situation has created panic among people of north Odisha districts and the concerned district administrations have remained on high alert.
On Thursday, the Odisha Government had put Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts on high alert for probable high flood owing to release of 3 lakh cusecs of excess water by adjacent Jharkhand state from its Galudih barrage into the Subarnarekha river.
Reports said that torrential rains lashed the upper catchments of Subarnarekha following which Jamshedpur recorded 185 mm highest rainfall and thus forced the Galudih barrage authorities to release excess water into Subarnarekha’s lower catchment areas.
Water flowed above danger level at Jamasolaghat gauge site on Thursday while at Rajghat it started steadily rising. Due to full moon day and the sea waves surging, discharge of water from Subarnarekha river into the Bay of Bengal on Thursday was found to be very slow.
Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Praditpa Mohapatra on Thursday itself had warned Balasore and Mayurbhanj District Collectors about Jharkhand’s release of 3 lakh cusec of excess water into Subarnarekha and which was likely to reach Rajghat on Friday early morning.
The SRC in his message to the two district administrations and police administrations had warned that four lakh people in more than 250 villages of Rasgobindpur block of Mayurbhanj district and Bhogarai, Baliapal, Basta and Jaleswar blocks of Balasore district were likely to be affected.
Our Balasore Correspondent reported that the swelling Subarnarekha was flowing at 11 meter above the 10.36 meter danger mark at Rajghat and created panic among the people.
The district administration reviewed the situation and has ensured all flood preparedness arrangements like adequate number of country boats, 14 motor boats, 4 units of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), one unit of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) stationed at Balasore. Another unit of ODRAF is in position at Baripada, the district headquarters of adjoining Mayurbhanj district.
Sources said pre-positioning of food materials in inaccessible and strategic places and boat arrangements are also in place.
Talking to media at the State Secretariat on Friday, SRC Pradipta Mohapatra said, “Even though the two districts of Balasore and Mayurbhanj have been asked to be on high alert and have already made all flood preparedness measures, there is nothing to panic about the probable flood as heavy rains at the upper catchment areas have declined and gradually the surging water level in Subarnarekha will be discharged into the sea”.
As per news update, the surging water of Subarnarekha has entered into 20 villages under 5 Panchayats of Baliapal block, 6 Panchayats of Jaleswar block and several villages of Bhogarai block in Balasore district.
Similarly, flood water of Baitarani river has inundated 10 Panchayats of 2 blocks in neighbouring Bhadrak district. The affected two blocks are Bhandaripokhari and Dhamnagar.
The Baitarani river was flowing above the danger mark at Akhuapada.
Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department (IMD) has weather forecast of heavy rains from August 21 mostly in north Odisha and a few places in south Odisha.
“The rate of rainfall on August 19 and 20 will be less as a few places received rain in the last two days and the highest rainfall recorded in the last 24 hours was 55 mm at Mahendragarh in Gajapati district,” said Sarat Sahu, Director, IMD, Bhubaneswar.
Sahu also informed that since June 1 till date percentage of rainfall during the current monsoon is about 13 % less.