BALASORE: Overflowing Jalaka river submerged 61 villages under 13 gram panchayats in Balasore's Basta block on Wednesday following heavy rains in the upper catchment areas of Jharkhand.
Water was flowing at 7.31 metre in the river at Mathani in Basta, way past the danger mark of 5.50 metre. Similarly, over 22 villages under eight GPs in Mayurbhanj's Rashgobindpur block were inundated after water from Jambhirai river and Jalaka entered these areas.
Several low-lying villages were also marooned due to breaches in embankments. Sources said overflowing Jambhirai river breached embankments at Ektali in Devsole and Sansha village in Sarumula under Rashgobindpur, inundating 21 villages.
Water was flowing three feet above the bridge over Jambhirai in Mayurbhanj district. Communication between Amarda and Rashgobindpur and some rural pockets in Moroda and Chitrada was disrupted as floodwater was flowing on the roads.
On the day, Balasore Collector K Sudarshan Chakraborty, Superintending Engineer of the local irrigation division Pravash Pradhan along with tehsildar Kartik Chandra Das and Basta block development officer Gyana Ranjan Sahoo visited Mathani to take stock of the flood situation.
ODRAF team along with fire services personnel rescued around 2,400 flood-hit villagers of eight GPs in Basta block to safer places as water level of Jalaka continued to rise on the day. The district administration distributed dry ration, drinking water and cooked food to the evacuated people.
Sources in the district emergency office said that Balasore received 106.2 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours. While Bhograi block received 28.02 mm, Baliapal got 19 mm and Basta 9 mm. Nilagiri received the highest 37 mm.
Superintending Engineer Pradhan said Baharda, Mathani, Kudia, Sadanandapur, Patrajhada, Gadapada, Sundarhata, Routpada, Chakuri, Darada, Mukulshi, Sahada and Irda GPs in Basta along with Rashalpur and Srirampur in Balasore Sadar block were the worst hit by floods. Three ODRAF and six fire services teams have been engaged in rescue operations in the worst-affected areas, he added.