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Odisha floods: Over 4.67 lakh affected; govt prepares for next spell of rain

Bhubaneswar, Aug 17 (ANI): The women of the flooded village filling drinking water from a water tap in Odisha, on Wednesday. (ANI Photo) (Sai Saswat Mishra)Premium
Bhubaneswar, Aug 17 (ANI): The women of the flooded village filling drinking water from a water tap in Odisha, on Wednesday. (ANI Photo) (Sai Saswat Mishra)

The meteorological department has forecast heavy rainfall in 20 districts for Thursday and very heavy rain in 17 districts for Friday as a new low-pressure area is developing, the third in the past overnight.

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Odisha has been battling flood situation in the state due to heavy rainfall. Special Relief Commissioner, Pradeep Kumar Jena informed ANI that over 4.67 lakh people in 1,757 villages in 10 districts of Odisha have been affected so far. Amid this situation, the administration braces up for the next spell of heavy rain from Thursday as forecast by the meteorological department, P K Jena said.

Jena said that "Due to the heavy rainfall and subsequent flood, over 2.5 lakh people in 425 villages have remained marooned, whilst a total of over 4.67 lakh people in 10 districts have been affected."

He further stated that by Wednesday evening, over 60,000 people were evacuated to safe places.

“The Wednesday night is considered crucial for the Mahanadi delta region as peak flood water will pass through Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri and Khurda districts. About 10 lakh cusec (cubic feet per second) of water will flow through the delta region which may inundate more villages," he told PTI.

The meteorological department has forecast heavy rainfall in 20 districts for Thursday and very heavy rain in 17 districts for Friday as a new low-pressure area is developing, the third in the past overnight.

The weather system is set to form over north Bay of Bengal around Friday under the influence of a cyclonic circulation, which lies over south Myanmar, the Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre said in a bulletin on Wednesday. 

The weatherman issued a yellow warning of heavy rain of 65-116 mm for 20 districts, including Cuttack, Puri and Khurda, on Thursday. 

The meteorological center issued an orange alert of very heavy downpour of 116-204 mm in 17 districts, including Cuttack, Kendrapara and Sambalpur, on Friday. 

Heavy showers are expected for the rest of the 13 districts on the day. It predicted very heavy precipitation in Kalahandi and seven districts of western Odisha on Saturday, besides heavy rain in nine adjoining districts. The government has advised fishermen not to venture into the sea in north and west central Bay of Bengal on Friday and off the coast on Saturday as squally weather with wind speed of 45-55 km per hour is expected over the region, officials said.

"The Administration is alert. If needed, we will evacuate more people. Those who are evacuated are being provided with food and water," said the official.

Informing about the status of the flood water level in Hirakud Dam, Jena said that the flood water is being discharged from Hirakud reservoir through 40 gates and the inflow of flood water from the dam has reduced to 5.80 lakh cusecs while the outflow of water remained at 6.69 lakh cusecs.

Jena informed that 11 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), 12 teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRF) and 52 teams of Odisha Fire Services have been deployed in flood-affected districts.

Meanwhile, the state government has asked the district education authorities of the flood-affected districts to make the school buildings available for shelter and relief distribution. 

The opposition BJP accused the ruling BJD of failing to implement proper water management in the Hirakud reservoir - the lone facility that controls floods in the biggest river in the coastal state.

BJP state unit president Samir Mohanty claimed that the present situation in the Mahanadi river system has arisen because of utter negligence by the Naveen Patnaik administration.

The flood-hit districts are Angul, Bargarh, Boudh, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, Nayagarh, Puri, Sambalpur and Subarnapur.

(With inputs from agencies)

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