Thousands of people in over 120 villages in northern region of the State have been hit by flash flood in Subarnarekha, Budhabalanga, Jalaka and Baitarani rivers. The rivers are in spate since Tuesday.
Flash flood triggered by torrential rains in the catchment areas of these rivers have hit the region twice in the last one month. This time, 10 blocks in Balasore, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj districts have been affected along with parts under the Municipal limits of Baripada and Balasore.
Till last reports came in, 20 villages were marooned in Jaleswar, Bhogarai and Basta blocks. While people have been evacuated to safer places, officials asked to keep a tab on vulnerable points of river embankments.
As Thursday was a full moon day, officials fear that flood water cannot be easily discharged into the sea. The situation has further worsened with Jharkhand Government releasing water from Chandali dam which is expected to reach here in the next 12 hours.
Water level in Subarnarekha was at 11.38 metre (mtr) mark at Rajghat against its danger mark of 10.36 mtr, while Baitarani was flowing at 18.30 mtr at Akhuapada against the danger level of 17.85. Jalaka was flowing at 7.10 mtr against the red mark of 5.5 mtr. Water level in Budhabalanga was at 7.90 mtr mark.
Officials said water level in rivers were increasing, while Subarnarekha was rising at 0.03 mtr per hour. “Once the river crosses 12 mtr mark, it will maroon more than 200 villages in Bhogarai, Jaleswar and Baliapal blocks,” an official said.
While thousands acres of paddy field were inundated, some parts of Baliapal, Jaleswar and Bhogarai blocks have been cut-off from the district headquarters with water flowing over the roads including the State highway that connects Basta with Baliapal.
Sub-Collector Paresh Marandi visited some affected areas in north Balasore. Four teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force have been deployed for relief and rescue operation. In Mayurbhanj, Budhabalanga, Gangahar and Jambhira rivers are in spate affecting 76 villages under 18 gram panchayats in five blocks.
Vehicular communication to Jharkhand was disrupted while hundreds of vehicles were stranded along both the sides of NH-120 as a temporary diversion over Barehi river was washed away at Nischintpur.
Communication on Barasahi-Kuamora and Pratapur-Badkarko road also has been snapped as water was flowing three feet above the road. A bamboo bridge over river Budhabalanga at Tentla, a shortcut route from Barasahi to Betnoti, has been washed away.
■ 20 villages have been marooned in Jaleswar, Bhogarai and Basta blocks
■ The situation has worsened as Jharkhand Government released water from Chandali dam which is expected to reach here in the next 12 hours