Suryakant Jena

The ravaging flood in Mahanadi basin has caused immense hardships for people in several districts of Odisha and the situation is unlikely to change in next 24 hours. 

Briefing the media on the flood status in the state, Special Relief Commissioner of Odisha Pradip Kumar Jena said, the next 24 hours is very important in the fight against the disaster, billed as the biggest flood in the state after 11 years. 

Floodwater has caused major breaches at only 4 places so far including two cases today. The first one was at Kushabhadra river embankment at Tendiakuda and the other one on Mahanadi river near Teramanapur. Other river breaches are not actually breaches but backwater, said the SRC.

The water inflow in Mahanadi is witnessing a high volume at Mundali not seen since 2011. But the good news is that the water level has started receding in Mundali.

Water flow reducing at Mundali by 17000 cusec per hour and will further come down by 25000 cusec in a few hours from now. Water flow expected to come down to 9 lakh cusec at Mundali in 24 hours, explained the official.

On the other hand, water from Hirakud dam has crossed Khairamal where the flow touched the peak of 9.84 lakh cusec today morning. Its impact will be felt in Mundali after 24 hours, he said. 

Meanwhile, Revenue Minister Pramila Mallick assured people that all mitigating efforts are being taken by the government to assist people in this crisis situation.  

This is a moderate level flood. The districts of Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Cuttack, Khurda have been the most affected. District Collectors have been directed to take necessary steps while assessing the situation. Rescue and relief operations have been launched wherever required. 

Relief food packets are being distributed to people affected by flood. Local authorities have been asked to use schools, colleges, kalyan mandaps as shelter houses, said Mallick while addressing mediapersons today.  

She further added that extensive steps are being taken by the administrative officials to fence and plug fissures with sand bags.