Flood situation still grim

Staff Reporter

Disaster Management Minister visits affected districts

Three persons feared washed away in Remuna and Baliapal blocks

Several parts in Balasore and Bhadrak districts still remain cut off

BHUBANESWAR: Though there was considerable improvement in the weather conditions on Saturday, several parts of Balasore and Bhadrak districts were still cut off from the main land and over five lakh people of the State were estimated to be affected by the first floods of the season.

Three persons were feared dead as they were washed away in the floodwaters in Remuna and Baliapal blocks and Gadasahi area of Balasore district.

As the floods continued to be critical, the government deployed some 120 jawans of the CISF in Balasore district while one team of the Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force was already engaged in rescue and relief operations. Preliminary reports said 487 villages under 67 gram panchayats of Balasore district were badly affected.

Three breaches had occurred in Bhadrak district.

Balasore, Chandaneswar, Jaleswar, Baliapal and Basta in Balasore district and Bhadrak and Aredi in Bhadrak district were cut off by the swirling floodwaters early on Saturday.

Reports from Jajpur districts said the water level was rising in the Baitarani which was in spate following heavy rain in its upper catchment areas on Friday.

At six gauge sites in Baitarani and Subarnarekha river basins, water was flowing over the danger level.

While water level was still rising at three places, the administration hoped that it would become steady in the late hours of Saturday.

For the second successive day, water level continued to be over the danger mark at Jamsolaghat on Subarnarekha.

Fortunately, the average rainfall in the Subarnarekha was put at 50 mm against 200 mm the previous day.

However, the water level in the Budha Balanga, which was in spate on Friday, was receding fast.

The administration was keeping a close watch on the Hirakud reservoir as it was expected to receive floodwaters from Chhattisgarh after the Met office warned heavy rainfall in that State.

Meanwhile, the local meteorological office forecast that heavy rain was likely at isolated places over the upper and lower Mahanadi catchments during the next 48 hours.

Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Manmohan Samal who visited the flood-hit districts on Saturday said the required food material was being mobilised to the affected villagers in Bhadrak and Balasore districts.

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