Bhubaneswar, Aug 27 (PTI) Heavy downpour triggered by a low-pressure area over the Bay of Bengal led to a flood situation in parts of Odisha on Thursday amid swelling rivers, officials said.
Major rivers such as Baitarani, Brahmani, Subarnarekha and Budhabalanga are in spate with their water flowing above the danger-mark, submerging low-lying areas and paddy fields in several districts, Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marndi said.
Arrangements were made to evacuate people to safer places in Bhadrak, Balasore and Jajpur, he said, adding that steps were also taken to provide them food.
The state recorded an average rainfall of 55.8 mm since Wednesday, the minister said.
Six districts received average showers of more than 100 mm, while nine districts got more than 50 mm rainfall during the period, he said.
The state government is fully prepared to deal with the flood situation, and a thorough assessment of damage to crops and properties will be made when the water recedes, Marndi said.
Jharsuguda district recorded the highest 177 mm rainfall, followed by 128.5 mm in Deogarh, 116.7 mm in Sambalpur, 114 mm in Boudh, and 107 mm in Angul district, Special Relief Commissioner P K Jena said.
The water level of the Baitarani river at Anandpur in Keonjhar district stood at 40.09 metre at noon as against the danger-mark of 38.36 metre, while the water level at Akhuapada in Bhadrak district was around 19.90 metre as against the red-mark of 17.83 metre, he said.
Budhabalnga and Subarnarekha rivers were also flowing above the danger level at different places. Besides, the water level of the Jalaka river was 6.98 metre as against the danger mark of 5.5 metre at Mathani in Balasore district, Jena said.
Stating that there is no immediate threat of flood in the Mahanadi river system, he said the water level in the Hirakud dam was 621.06 feet at noon as against the full reservoir level of 630 feet.
The water inflow was 5,30,583 cusec and outflow through the 12 gates of the dam was 2,04,714 cusec, Jena said.
Discharge of water at Khairmal was 4,90,000 cusec, while it was 7,08,250 cusec at Barmul and 7,25,000 cusec at Munduli.
The water level in Mahanadi at Naraj was 26.02 metre as against the danger mark of 26.41 metre. The water flow is likely to remain at the same level as no major rainfall has been forecast for the next three-four days, Jena said.
A medium flood in Baitarani, Brahmani and Subarnarekha rivers is expected and all precautionary measures have been taken to deal with the situation, he said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the preparedness on Wednesday, he said.
Chief Secretary A K Tripathy also held a review meeting with senior officials, including three revenue divisional commissioners and collectors of districts such as Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Subarnapur and Boudh.
Officials of the Water Resources Department have been asked to undertake round-the-clock patrolling of vulnerable pockets, and take steps for guarding and strengthening the weak embankment points, he said.
Three persons, two in Mayurbhanj district and one in Keonjhar, have been killed in rain-related incidents since Wednesday, raising the death toll in the state caused by heavy rainfall this month to eight, he said.
Many low-lying areas, including paddy fields and roads, are submerged, and kutcha houses and fragile structures damaged in Kendrapara, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jajpur and Jagatsinghpur, he said.
The gushing water has also caused breaches in roads and washed away small bridges, the officer said.
Teams of National Disaster Response Force and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force have been deployed in Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak and Balasore districts for rescue operations, Jena said.
The district collectors, particularly of Bhadrak, Jajpur, Balasore and Kendrapara, have been asked to keep a watch and remain in a state of preparedness, he said The situation is not alarming as the intensity of the rainfall has now reduced, he said.
The water level of the Subarnarekha river is rising following the release of floodwater by Jharkhand from Galudiha barrage. As a result, Rajghat in Balasore district is likely to receive a huge volume of water on Friday, he said.
Jena said Brahmani, Baitarani and Kharasrota rivers are under watch and all officials are put on alert, while shelters and boats have been kept ready.
Agricultural land in Marsaghai, Derabish, Mahakalpada, Pattamundai, Aul and Rajkanika in Kendrapara district have been inundated, he said.
In the Jajpur district, many villages in the five blocks are submerged due to flood in the Baitarani river.
In Bhadrak, several villages in Bhandaripokhari and Dhamnagar blocks were inundated by floodwater from Baitarani, while connectivity was affected as several roads and bridges were submerged, officials said.
Road communication between Bhandaripokhari, Dhamnagar and Jajpur was disrupted as floodwater was flowing over a bridge, they said.
Meanwhile, the well-marked low-pressure area over north interior Odisha has now moved to southwest Jharkhand and neighbouring areas, the Meteorological Centre here said.
This is the fifth low-pressure area formed over the Bay of Bengal this month.
Four back-to-back low-pressure systems on August 4, 9, 13 and 19 have caused heavy rainfall in the state. PTI SKN SOM SOM