Odisha Floods: Over 4.67 Lakh People Affected, Schools in Puri Shut for Two Days as Govt Prepares for Fresh Spell of Rain

Puri: Over 4.67 lakh people in 12 districts of Odisha have been severely affected by the flood in the Mahanadi river system. The worst affected flood-hit districts are Angul, Bargarh, Boudh, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, Nayagarh, Puri, Sambalpur and Subarnapur.Also Read – MP Rains: Flood-Like Situation in Bhopal, Schools Shut in Many Districts; Alert Sounded | 10 Points

Meanwhile, in Puri, the district administration has directed all schools, both government and private, to remain closed in the district for two days, in view of the current flood situation in the district. Earlier, all schools in Jagatsinghpur district were shut for two days on August 16 and 17 after several schools in the district were inundated by floodwaters.

According to the meteorological department, a fresh spell of heavy rain is again expected on Thursday. The Wednesday night was considered crucial for the Mahanadi delta region as the peak flood water was expected to pass through Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri and Khurda districts, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said.

About 10 lakh cusec (cubic feet per second) of water would flow through the delta region which may inundate more villages, he said on Wednesday.

More than two lakh people in 10 districts were affected by the calamity on Tuesday when Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked officials concerned to ensure “zero casualty” in the flood caused by heavy rainfall due to the week-long low pressure and depression.

Jena said that a population of over 2.26 lakh remained marooned in 425 villages while about 54,000 people have been evacuated and taken to temporary shelters so far. The calamity has affected 1,757 villages and 10 urban local bodies.

The state government said that although the water flow at Mundali barrage near Cuttack slightly declined and reached 10.57 lakh cusec by 6 pm of Wednesday from 12 lakh cusec on Tuesday, a heavy spell of rain as forecast by IMD may add to the flood fury.

Keeping the IMD forecast of heavy rainfall, we are preparing for the eventuality. However, with a guarded discharge of water from Hirakud reservoir, the flow could be contained within 10.5 lakh cusec, BK Mishra, the chief engineer of the Water Resources Department, said.

He said the water level in Hirakud reservoir stands at 626.14 feet at 8 pm on Wednesday while its depth is 630 feet.

At least six breaches have been created in the embankments of the Mahanadi river and its tributaries, while the officials could manage to plug rat holes in as many as 197 places, Mishra said. With flood water inundating more villages, the state government has deployed more rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and Odisha Fire Service.

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