The flood situation in Balasore district on Thursday continued to be grim as over 100 villages remained marooned following inundation of low-lying areas by the water of three rivers which are in spate in northern Odisha, officials said.
At Mathani in Basta block, the Jalaka was flowing at a height of 6.51 meters at 6 pm against the danger level of 5.50 meters.
Near Rajghat, the Subarnarekha is flowing at 8.98 meters against the danger level of 10.36 meters and is gradually rising. The Budhabalang is also in spate in some places of the district.
Many villages and agricultural fields in at least three blocks- Basta, Bhograi, and Baliapal -in Balasore district have been severely hit by the deluge, the officials said.
People in the neighbouring Bhadrak district are worried due to the fear of floods as the Baitarani river is swelling.
The breach in the Jalaka river embankment at Ektal village in Balasore district has been plugged with sandbags by the irrigation department.
However 41 villages in Basta block remain marooned, an official said.
According to a preliminary assessment by the revenue department, 76 villages under 15 panchayats in Basta and Bhograi blocks are affected and 48,172 people are under the impact of the current flood in the Jalaka river.
The Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire brigade personnel are engaged in rescue work.
As many as 17 free kitchen centres are functioning while five medical teams are assisting the affected people, said a revenue official.
At Akhuapada in Bhadrak district, the Baitarani is flowing at a height of 18.05 meters against the danger level of 17.83 meters, an official at the water resources department said.
Meanwhile, Engineer-in-Chief in the Water Resources department D K samal said the government is closely monitoring the flood situation in Subarnarekha and Jalaka rivers.
“We have received reports of four breaches created in the embankments of the Jalaka near Rasagobindapur in Mayurbhanj district. All chief engineers, junior engineers and other officials are closely monitoring the situation,” he said.
Sandbags and wooden logs, required to plug the breaches, have been kept ready and as soon as the water recedes, repair and restoration works of the embankment will be taken up , Samal said.
The Water Resources department is worried given the IMD’s forecast that moderate rainfall will occur in the upper catchment areas of the Jalaka river on September 24 and 25.
On the Hirakud Dam situation, Samal said, “There are certain guidelines for the operation of the reservoir. The engineers are monitoring the water-level and opening or closing the sluice gates as and when the situation necessitates.” Meanwhile, the IMD said that the cyclonic circulation over the Myanmar coast is likely to move northwestwards and merge into the northeast and adjoining East-central Bay of Bengal.
Under its influence, a low-pressure area is likely to form over the same region around September 24 evening.
IMD director-general Mrutunjay Mohapatra said that the low-pressure area over Jharkhand has weakened and there is less possibility of heavy rainfall in Odisha on Thursday.
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