Suryakant Jena

A massive breach of about 500 feet in the embankment of Jalaka river has triggered scare of widespread flooding in some blocks of Balasore district.

As per sources, the heavy rainfall due to a fresh low pressure on the upstream of the Jalaka river caused the embankment to rupture near Ekatali village . The breach gradually widened as the floodwater eroded the soil, resulting in a five hundred feet wide opening in the embankment of the river.

The floodwater from the river meanwhile is expected to further inundate several Panchayats in two Blocks - Basta and Balasore Sadar - which are already water-logged. 

Floodwaters spilling out of the river have already marooned a majority of villages in the region and are likely to cause massive damage to kutcha houses, roads and standing crops in the area. 

Flood alert has already been sounded in some Blocks in the bordering Mayurbhanj district, like Rasagobindpur following the breach.
According to government sources, the Jalaka river is flowing above danger mark near Mathani. 

During a stock taking of the flood situation on the ground, OTV found that the wide-spread inundation has evoked mass resentment among the residents of the region. They held the administration squarely responsible for the situation because of its apathy in reinforcing the embankments which caused the breach.

The absence of strengthening measures on the embankment in the last 10 years has led to the collapse of the river bund. It is almost impossible to repair such a massive collapse of the embankment at this point of time as the river is swelling with floodwaters. The administration should be held accountable for the incident as it has not discharged its responsibility at the proper time, alleged a local at Ekatali village. 

Meanwhile, Irrigation division officials have assured that sand bags and other packing materials have been stocked in ample quantity to fortify the loose portions of the embankment.

Heavy rainfall continues to lash north Odisha and north coastal districts like Mayurbhanj, Balasore under the influence of a fresh Low Pressure Area which now lies over southeast of Jharkhand and the neighbourhood with the associated cyclonic circulation extending up to 5.8 km above mean sea level tilting southwestwards.

As per the weather bureau data, Jamsola ghat in Mayurbhanj has received the highest of 157.6 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours.

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