BHUBANESWAR: AS back to back systems triggered heavy rains and forced Jharkhand to release huge volumes of water in Subarnarekha river, the Odisha Government on Thursday put Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts on flood alert. Over three lakh cusec water is expected to reach Rajghat gauge point of the river in Balasore by Friday morning which is expected to hit at least five blocks of the two districts. In the flood alert, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradipta Mohapatra said the release of water would create high flood situation in Rasagovindpur block of Mayurbhanj besides Jaleswar, Basta, Baliapal and Bhograi blocks of Balasore. These five blocks are likely to be “highly affected”. With rains lashing the upstream of Subarnarekha, the water level at Jamsholaghat had crossed the warning level of 48.32 meter and was flowing at 49.10 meter, very close to the danger mark of 49.16 meter.
At Rajghat, the water level was constantly on the rise. From 6.63 metre in the noon, it had risen to 6.95 meter by the evening. “When the water reaches on Friday morning, it may touch the warning level,” sources in the Flood Control Room said. With Balasore likely to bear the brunt of the flood, the district administration put all the blocks on alert to place exigency measures in a state of readiness. Food supplies and essential commodities have been stocked.
A 45-member unit of National Disaster Response Force, which is stationed at Balasore, has been alerted while the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force of Balasore and Baripada have been sounded. Besides, three units of ODRAF - two from Cuttack and one from Bhubaneswar - have already been mobilised to Balasore. The SRC directed the districts to deploy the units at strategic locations for relief and rescue operations. The Balasore district administration exuded confidence in its preparations. In 2008, the water level at Rajghat had reached 12.69 meter.
“We are ready with all the flood preparation measures,” said a district official. The State administration said it will keep a close watch on the situation since the deep depression had moved into Jharkhand triggering heavy showers which may bring in more flood water into the rivers of northern Odisha. The system was located 340 km north-west of Balasore and is likely to move in a westnorth- westward direction.