BHUBANESWAR: Even as the water level of major rivers in Odisha including Mahanadi has started receding, there has been no respite for flood-affected people due to the delay in release of flood water to the sea under the impact of the full moon.
Because of the high tides in the sea which push the rivers back, it can be said that flood waters will be released after the full moon day from September 2 onwards, engineer-in-chief of the Water Resources department Jyotirmay Rath told mediapersons here on Tuesday.
Though water level of Hirakud continued to fall for the second consecutive day, nearly four lakh people from around 350 villages in the coastal districts remained marooned while hundreds of roads were cut off because of the surging flood waters.
Mahanadi at Naraj in Cuttack district was still flowing at 26.68 feet, above the danger mark of 26.41 feet, though falling. The reservoir level at Hirakud stood at 625.65 feet as against the optimum level of 630 feet.
Official sources said due to the reduced flow of water into the Hirakud dam from the upper catchment areas during the last 48 hours, four more gates have been closed. While 3.66 lakh cusec water entered the dam, discharge was 4.04 cusec through 24 gates.
At the same time, the discharge of floodwaters at Khairmal, Barmul and Mundali has also reduced. While discharge at Khairmal was 6.06 lakh cusec, 7.03 lakh cusec water was flowing at Barmul. However, though decreasing, 9.25 lakh cusec water is being released at Mundali in Cuttack district.
Official sources said that except Mahanadi, Devi, Kushabhadra, Ib, Brahmani, Baitarani, Budhabalanga, Subarnarekha, Vanshadhara, Rushikulya and Jalaka are flowing below the danger level. Over 14.5 lakh people in 3,256 villages of 20 districts of the State have been affected by the swelling waters which inundated a large area in the coastal districts.
The Government evacuated over 20,000 people to flood shelters from vulnerable areas. As per preliminary assessment, as many as 10,382 houses have been damaged and 1,68,904 hectare crop area affected due to the flood. The death toll in the floods has reached 17.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has asked the district collectors to make house damage assessment within 15 days and disburse assistance within the next seven days.
14.5 lakh people in 3,256 villages of 20 districts of the State have been affected
Government evacuated over 20,000 people to flood shelters from vulnerable areas
10,382 houses have been damaged and 1,68,904 hectare crop area affected
Only 24 gates of Hirakud dam opened as on Tuesday, discharging 4.04 cusec water