The torrential rain in the upper catchment areas of three major rivers of North Odisha for the last four days has played havoc across Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts, inundating vast areas and affecting nearly 59 villages.
Though on Sunday flood water started receding from Budhabalanga and Subarnarekha rivers, Jalaka river was still flowing above the danger mark at Mathani. The water level in the river was at 5.52-metre mark, against its red mark of 5.5 m. Official sources said around 24 villages under six blocks in Mayurbhanj district and five wards in Baripada municipality were affected by Budhabalanga flood. Thirtyfive villages in five blocks of Balasore district had been hit by Jalaka flood.
The plight of flood victims in Madhuban area under ward No. 7 of Baripada municipality unfolded after the water receded. Nearly 350 families of the ward had to be evacuated immediately after they were warned of a flash flood on Saturday. A victim, Nabin Hansda, said they could not save anything from their house. “We had gone for work in the morning. When we reached home, we saw flood water had entered our house.”
Along with many others, Hansda family has taken shelter in a polythene roofed house on Baripada-Udala road. Altogether, 2,478 persons have been rescued and given shelter. An emergency officer of Mayurbhanj, Pallabi Nayak, said the flood victims had been provided cooked food for two days and dry food distribution was on in the affected wards in the municipality areas. “We have asked the forest officials to prepare a report on the damage inside Similipal reserve forest due to the cloud burst,” she said.
Similarly, the turbulent water of Jalaka has breached some embankments, marooning thousands of acres of agricultural fields and inundating river-side villages. Road communication to most of the parts of Jaleswar, Baliapal and Basta blocks have been disrupted with flood water flowing over some of the major roads.
Sources said the gram panchayats, including Fuladi, Kasimila, Keshpur, Nagram and Buanla have been badly affected. Though water had entered the villages, no damage was reported. Brundaban Swain of Kasimila said as they reside in riverside villages, they had been facing the flood again and again. No special arrangements have been made by the Government to save them from the calamity.