Sharmili Mallick

Though the water levels in major rivers have been gradual falling off since Friday evening, several low-lying areas in many districts of the State still remain submerged affecting thousands of lives in the regions.

The water level of the Subarnarekha and Jalaka rivers passing through the Balasore district has receded but still many villages in Baliapal, Bhogarai and Jaleswar blocks have been marooned. Floodwater has submerged several roads in these two blocks forcing people to use country boats to communicate.

Around 30 villages in Baliapal block, including Panchurukhi, Charabasta, Kalaroi, Baliapal, Tala Baliapal, Asti Surjapur and Jamkunda have remained flooded making villagers shift to safer places.

Over 50,000 people have remained stranded while a 35-member ODRAF team has been deployed in Baliapal block to carry out the evacuation and restoration works.

Floodwater has surged into as many as 40 villages, including Kusuda, Gabga, Bada Mandar Runi, Masanbadia in Bhograi block of Balasore district. Similarly, in the Jaleswar block, over ten villages have remained flooded.
“It’s been three days and we have been cut off from the rest of the world. Our houses have suffered severe damages and we are surviving on dry food. Rice and other food stocks have been washed away in the floodwater,” a flood-affected woman in Bhogarai block said.

Likewise, even as the water level in the Baitarani River has ebbed, many shallow regions in Bhadrak district have remained underwater. Over 15 panchayats of the district have been severely affected due to the flood and hectares of agricultural land have remained submerged. The residents of Bhandaripokhari, Dhamnagar, Tihidi and Chandbali blocks are reportedly the most affected.

The water level at Mundali Barrage in Cuttack has remained stable since 11 pm Friday. Though the excess water released from Hirakud Dam in Sambalpur has reached the barrage, it has not significantly increased the water level bringing much relief for the residents of the low-lying areas of Cuttack district.

As per a report received at 6 am today, 6.79 lakh cusec water per second was being discharged at Mundali while the water level has receded to 628.21 feet at Hirakud Dam by 9 am today.

The floodwater was being released through 24 gates at the dam. 3,71,264 cusec water per second was entering the reservoir while 4,09,383 cusec water was being released through the gates, said the Dam authorities.

Meanwhile, due to the surge of floodwaters in Mahanadi, the water-level in its various distributaries like Rajua, Mandakini and Daya have been increasing triggering widespread inundation in numerous low-lying villages in Khordha.

On the other, the administration of Kendrapara, Puri along with six other districts have been kept on alert in view of a possible flood threat after the Hirakud waters reach these districts.