BHUBANESWAR: The depression over north- east Bay of Bengal moved towards Bangladesh coast on Wednesday bringing respite to the State Government from the impending flood in northern districts.
Though the Government geared up its administrative and disaster management machinery to face any eventuality, it will have more time at hand since rain prediction for the next 24 hours is moderate.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said, the depression was close to Chittagong and will cross Bangladesh coast on Thursday. However, depression being a complex system will move towards south-east and turn towards India.
“Model prediction shows that the system will return, enter West Bengal and Jharkhand and move into Odisha. As a result, rains will lash northern and adjoining western pockets around July 31-August 1,” said Director, IMD, Odisha Sarat Chandra Sahu said.
With the system taking a different track, rain dried up on Wednesday. Chandanpur in Mayurbhanj recorded the highest rainfall of 58.2 mm though the district recorded heavy showers 24 hours back.
Though a high flood scare did not exist over the next one day, the Government put in place the emergency mechanism well aware that more rains after 24 hours can only worsen the situation because the rivers were in spate.
Though Baitarani showed improvement following reduced rainfall, Subarnarekha continued to be a concern because of rain in its catchments in Odisha as well as Jharkhand. It was flowing above the danger level at both Jamsolaghat and Rajdghat.
Besides, release of water from Galudihi barrage in Jharkhand also added to the woes. Meanwhile, Baitarani also continued to flow over its danger mark at Akhuapada.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took stock of the flood preparedness at a meeting earlier in the day. It was informed at the meeting that release of flood water from Rengali Dam will be put off for a day.
Though intensity of rain dropped, flood-like situation prevailed in parts of Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts because the catchments of Budhabalanga, Baitarani and Subarnarekha were hit by heavy rainfall in the last two days.
A breach was reported in Baitarani embankment and Jajpur district administration was alerted to take measures to prevent ingress of flood water into Jajpur town. Repair work of the embankment was being taken up on war-footing.
Similarly, flood water from Budhabalanga entered some parts of Baripada town and Sarakana in Mayurbhanj and the affected people were shifted to safety. A breach in Subarnarekha at Dahimunda of Bhogarai block led to ingress of flood water into Balasore’s Mananagar and the administration was repairing the embankment.
Naveen directed the officials concerned to keep a close watch on Baliapal, Bhogarai and Basta blocks. A unit of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force has also been moved to Balasore.
Chief Secretary GC Pati, Development Commissioner Upendra Nath Behera and Special Relief Commissioner GVV Sarma were present at the meeting.