BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Monday mobilised disaster rapid action force to Keonjhar, Jajpur and Bhadrak districts after heavy rains in catchments led to flooding of Baitarani and Subarnarekha rivers.Both the rivers are flowing above the danger mark and with more rains predicted in next 24 hours over northern districts and adjoining Jharkhand, Subarnarekha is likely to cause damage.
Till last reports came in, it was flowing at 49.5 m against the danger mark of 49.15 m at Jamsholaghat. At Rajghat, the river was showing a rising trend but was still well below the danger level. Baitarani, too, was overflowing the danger mark of 17.83 m at Akhuapada. The water level read 18.06 m at Akhuapada.
With rains slated to continue over northern districts, the Government has deployed four Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams in Keonjhar, Jajpur and Bhadrak.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who reviewed the situation, asked three Collectors to be in readiness and administrative departments were instructed to prepare for rescue and relief operations.
Naveen directed that patrol teams be deployed to identify weak embankments and evacuation measures readied in case of inundation in low-lying areas. The three districts have also been asked to prepare cooked food in case of exigencies.
Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said, apart from ODRAF, NDRF and fire services units have also been put in a state of readiness. As many as 12 blocks in the three districts have been identified as vulnerable and necessary measures are being undertaken by the Collectors.
There are 59 cyclone and flood shelters in these blocks which have been readied for evacuation while 73 boats have been deployed for rescue and relief operations, Sethi informed.
The rise in the water level was caused by incessant rains in the last two days. The weather office said, Tensa in Sundagarh had recorded 196 mm rain in last 24 hours while Champua registered 140 mm. Similarly, Panposh recorded 122.7 mm rain. Other stations which reported above 100 mm rain were Joda, Tiring and Jhumpura.
Director of IMD, Odisha, Sarat Chandra Sahu said, the low pressure which induced the showers was located to north of Kolkata and adjoining Jharkhand. It will move in a west-north-west direction and trigger more rains over Jharkhand which means Subarnarekha would drain more water through Odisha.
The IMD has also predicted extremely heavy rainfall in Sundargarh and Keonjhar in next 24 hours with very heavy showers at a few locations in Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur and Deogarh.
However, rainfall intensity will decrease from Tuesday except in Sundargarh, Jharsuguda and Sambapur districts.
Blocks likely to be hit
Keonjhar Anandpur, Hatadihi, Ghasipura Jajpur
Korei, Sadar, Dasarathpur, Dharmasala, Binjharpur, Bari
Bhadrak Bhandaripokhari, Dhamnagar, Chandbali