As the water level in the Mahanadi river continued to swell after discharge of water from the Hirakud Dam, the Odisha government said today that there was a possibility of a minor-to-medium flood in 11 districts located in the river basin.
With the situation likely to become grim in the next 12 hours, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took stock of the situation and asked the administration to remain alert. "There is a possibility of a minor to medium floods in these 11 districts located in the Mahanadi river basin," a statement issued by the chief minister's office (CMO) said.
The authorities of the Hirakud Dam had yesterday opened 25 gates as the neighbouring Chhattishgarh had released huge volumes of water. The situation became worse when the local rivers added to the woes, a senior official at the state Water Resources Department said.
Officials said though 5,54,695 cusecs of water flows through the Mundali gauge station in Mahanadi near Cuttack, it might increase to 8.5 lakh cusecs by midnight. This can likely cause inundation in the low-lying areas of the districts of Sambalpur, Subarnapur, Boudh, Nayagarh, Angul, Cuttack, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda and Jajpur by tomorrow morning.
The district collectors have been asked to ensure that there was enough stock of food materials, besides water, medicines and other essential items. Mr Patnaik also asked the collectors to evacuate people from the low-lying areas as the flood water could enter into villages tonight or tomorrow morning.
The state government has deployed rescue teams in different vulnerable areas. "We have already deployed the personnel of the ODRAF, the NDRF and the fire service for immediate rescue operation in the districts of Puri, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack and Bhadrak. The collectors of 11 districts in the Mahanadi basin are also on high alert as the flood water is flowing into the river," Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said.
The Bhadrak collector has informed that flood water had entered some areas in Tihidi, Bhadrak blocks and Bhadrak municipality area last night, but the situation was not alarming.
The Water Resources Department secretary, P K Jena, said while 4,09,097 cusecs of water was being released from the Hirakud dam through 25 sluice gates, there was no possibility of opening more gates even if the inflow to the reservoir reaches 5.7 lakh cusecs, he said.
The patrolling teams have been engaged in inspection of weak and vulnerable river embankments. Adequate materials like bamboo, sand bags and others are stored in vulnerable places, sources in the Water Resources department said.
The authorities of Balimela reservoir in Malkangiri have also opened two of its 10 shutters, following incessant rains. A report from the Boudh and Subarnapur districts said vast areas of agricultural land have been inundated and road communication snapped in many parts in both the places.
The Malkangiri district administration has alerted the residents of Doraguda, Gunthawada and Nuaguda gram panchayats and suggested people to move to safer destinations in case too much water flows into the area.
Sources in the IMD said the state received an average of 4.9 mm rainfall in the past 24 hours. Four districts -- Malkanagiri, Keonjhar, Koraput, Angul -- received between 10-20 mm rainfall.
As per the IMD forecast, there is a possibility of rain or thundershower in many places across the state, but no warning of heavy rainfall for today and tomorrow.
Heavy rainfall is likely to occur in one or two places in Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Keonjhar, Deogarh, Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Kalahandi and Kandhamal districts on Friday, it added.
Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.