With the water level in three of the major rivers of north Odisha crossing the danger mark today, the authorities in Keonjhar, Bhadrak and Jajpur districts had stepped up their preparedness for rescue-and- relief operations, said officials. The situation in Balasore district was also being monitored, they added. The state government has already mobilised ODRAF, NDRF and fire services personnel to the flood-prone areas and kept power boats ready for the rescue-and-relief operations. Though the flood waters had not entered any village till 12 noon, road communication had been disrupted at some places with the water flowing on the roads, said Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi.
The water was flowing above the danger level in the Baitarani, Burhabalang, Subarnarekha and Jalaka rivers, SRC office sources said. According to the information available from the water resources department, the water level of the Baitarani, recorded at 16.16 metres, crossed the danger mark of 17.83 metres at Akhuapada. However, it had fallen slightly at Anandapur at 12 noon, the sources said. The Burhabalang though was rising steadily, triggering a flood threat in Balasore district. The Subarnarekha was also swelling with the water level already having crossed the danger mark at Jamsolaghat and Rajghat, the sources added.
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The Jalaka river, which mostly causes floods in the Bhadrak district, is also swelling. The water level has already risen to 6.01 metres as against the danger mark at 5.50 metres. According to the SRC, around 14 gram panchayats in the Dhamnagar block could be flooded. The Bhadrak district collector is camping at Dhamnagar, where an ODRAF team, equipped with power boats, has also been deployed for rescue-and-relief operations. IMD sources said, a well-marked low pressure might cause the rains to intensify over the next 24 hours in north Odisha, where a threat of a flood-like situation was looming large.
Meanwhile, the authorities of the Hirakud reservoir have opened 10 sluice gates, discharging 1,73,323 cusecs of water downstream of the Mahanadi river. The water level at the reservoir at 12 noon was recorded at 608.62 feet as against its highest level of 630 feet. The inflow to the reservoir was 1,80,128 cusecs, the sources said.