BALASORE: Three major rivers - Subarnarekha, Budhabalanga and Jalaka - are in spate in North Odisha region. People of 25 gram panchayats in Balasore, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj districts have been affected while, two persons were swept away in the flood water of river Subarnarekha in Baliapal block of Balasore district on Wednesday. The missing persons have been identified as Darasingh Sahu (38) of Choudhurykud village under Baliapal police limits and his cousin Madhab Sahu (18) of Chormara village under Singla police limits. The two along with four others were swept away near Pacharukhi while crossing a submerged road. While four were rescued, the two are missing till the last reports came.
At least 200 families of Baripada town and 522 people from Bhograi block in Balasore district have been shifted to safer places.
As per preliminary reports, 32,447 people in 20 gram panchayats in Basta, Bhogarai, Balaipal and Jaleswar blocks of Balasore district, 10,000 people in Betnoti and Badasahi blocks of Mayurbhanj district and 12 villages under Bhandaripokhari and Dhamnagar blocks of Bhadrak district have been affected.
Balasore Collector Sanatan Mallik said people in marooned villages have been evacuated to safer places and officials asked to keep a tab on the river embankments at vulnerable points. Electricity supply, vehicular communication and telephone services have been snapped in many villages. The district administration, however, fears flood situation to worsen on Thursday as the water level in Subarnarekha is rising rapidly. Water level in the river at Rajghat was at 12.05 metre mark against the red mark of 10.36 metre in the evening while Jalaka river was flowing at 5.78 metre mark against danger level of 5.5 metre. Budhabalanga was flowing at 7.60 metre mark.
Water in Subarnarekha is rising at 0.1 metre per hour. Water level is likely to increase further with Galudi barrage releasing nearly 70,000 cusecs water. Catchment of the river in Jharkhand has also been experiencing heavy rainfall.
While thousands of acres of paddy field have been inundated, some parts of Baliapal, Jaleswar and Bhogarai blocks are cut-off from the district headquarters as the water is flowing over roads. Low-lying areas have been flooded.
The Collector said one ODRAF team and two NDRF teams have been deployed for rescue operation along with 28 boats.