BHUBANESWAR: Thousands of people were evacuated from marooned areas and moved to safer places due to breaches in Baitarani river embankments in Jajpur and Bhadrak districts on Tuesday.
However, water level has started receding in most rivers as heavy rainfall, which had been lashing the State for the past few days, has also receded.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Mohapatra told mediapersons that Baitarani river, which was flowing above the danger mark, has breached its embankment at Patapur in Jajpur district and at Sathiebankuda in Bhadrak district affecting nearby villages. Hati river too has submerged some areas in Kalahandi district. However, the overall situation improved on Tuesday following respite from heavy rains. Baitarani river is flowing above the danger mark at places like Anandpur and Akhuapada, but its water level is receding. The water level in all other rivers in the State is now falling.
Jajpur Collector Anil Samal said the breach at Patapur had submerged crop fields of about 20 villages in four gram panchayats. He said 5,600 people have been evacuated to safer places such as schools, cyclone shelters and Anganwadi centres. He said about 20,000 people of the district have been affected in the flood.
Stating that the situation was now under control, Samal said free kitchens have been opened to provide cooked food to them. He said as the water level has receded, several people who had taken shelter on rooftops have been rescued.
Samal said teams of fire brigade, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been pressed into service to undertake rescue and relief operation.
A large number of people were evacuated from Sathiebankuda in Bhadrak district. Flood water entered villages in low lying areas of Dhamnghar, Bonth and Bhandaripokhari and Tihidi blocks of the district. Five villages in Solampur panchayat have been cut off from the block headquarters as flood water is flowing above the road.
According to reports, 15 villages in Solampur, Malaa, Napanga, Kurigan, Naime and Tesinga in Bhandaripokhari block are water-logged and similar is the case with 22 villages of Sohada, Karada, Dengua, Patana, Padhani, Bharatapur, Balipada and Bedpur panchayats in Dhamnghar block.
Flood water of Reba and Kapali tributaries of Baitarani has affected Narsinghpur and Panapadi gram panchayats in Bonth block.