BHUBANESWAR: At least three lakh people in 21 districts are in the grip of flash flood and heavy rain which have so far claimed nine lives in the State. While Mahanadi is on the rise, its tributaries and Baitarani have caused the most damage so far.
Sambalpur and Jajpur emerged as the worst affected districts. Battered by the unprecedented rain, around 25,000 people in four blocks of Sambalpur have been hit and shifted to temporary shelters. Over 7,500 people have been evacuated to safer places.
In Jajpur, Baitarani gripped at least 1.52 lakh people in Jajpur, Korei and Dasarathpur blocks. One breach was reported at Patapur right side embankment of Baitarani. Similarly, another breach was reported at Trilochanpur.
The flash flood left road communication badly snapped in Sonepur where six blocks have been hit. Flood water was overtopping the Baijore-Jatesingh bridge that connects Birmaharajpur to Rairakhol. The roads to Tarabha and Ullunda blocks were also cut off.
The National Highway passing through Boud was closed after uprooted trees blocked the route. Similarly, low-lying areas in Bhadrak Municipality were submerged following floods and rain.
In Kalahandi, Hati was flowing over Junagarh bridge bringing traffic movement to a halt on NH 26. Rising Brutanga and Mahanadi flooded 79 villages in Gania and Bhapur blocks of Nayagarh. Rayagada, Koraput, Balangir, Nuapada, Deogarh, Angul, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj and Balasore were also affected.
All through the day, water level of Mahanadi and Baitarani ran above the danger mark. Eleven NDRF teams and 10 ODRAF units were sent to the affected districts by the State Government.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, through video conferencing, asked Collectors to reinforce river embankments using bamboos and sandbags.
The district administrations were directed to open free kitchens and supply clean drinking water to the affected population.