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Vikash Sharma

The Odisha government on Monday initiated measures to avoid a major flood in Mahanadi river by closing eight gates of Hirakud dam. Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena informed that even though the rainfall activities have reduced in lower catchment areas, the upper catchment areas of Hirakud are experiencing rainfall.

Three river basins- Indravati, Tel and Mahanadi recorded heavy rainfall under the influence of the depression over Bay of Bengal in the past 24 hours. Till yesterday, it was expected that there would be an inflow of around 7 lakh cusecs of water into Hirakud dam. However, it has now increased to 8.5 lakh cusecs.

According to Jena, there has been a considerable rise in the water level of several tributaries of Mahanadi. The water from upper catchment areas and lower catchment areas is causing Mahanadi river to swell.

Taking into these factors, a major flood is likely in Mahanadi and hence a decision has been taken to close eight gates of Hirakud dam till 9 am tomorrow, said Jena.

The closing down of gates of Hirakud dam will lead to reduction in the water level by 1.20 lakh cusecs. “At present, 9.1 lakh cusecs of floodwater is passing through Mundali and it has been decided to keep the outflow through Mundali by 10.5 lakh to 11 lakh cusecs,” said Jena.

SRC further informed that 5 additional teams of ODRAF, 7 NDRF and over 20 teams of fire services department have been deployed in Boudh, Angul, Sonepur, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Khordha, Puri and Kendrapara districts.

Areas To Be Affected:

Jagatsinghpur, Puri face maximum threat due to flooding in Mahanadi.

30-40% areas in Kendrapara to be affected.

Impact will also be seen in Cuttack's Nischintakoili, Athagarh, Banki and Sonepur's Biramitrapur. Nayagarh's Kantilo, Bhapur, and Boudh’s Harabhanga will be inundated.

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