Sonepur/Boudh: Villagers living alongside Mahanadi river in Boudh and Subarnapur districts are a harried lot as flood water is being released from Hirakud Dam through 25 gates today. Moreover, water flowing from upper catchment areas of Mahanadi has caused swelling of the river though rain has subsided.

By now, acres of farmland have been inundated and road communication snapped in many parts in both the districts. While road communication from Sonepur to Biramaharajpur via Bijepur has been disrupted due to floodwater flowing above Bijepur bridge, Sonepur-Rairakhol road is also submerged at Pitamahula due to excess flow of water in Bauri Jora. Similarly, vehicular traffic between Biramaharajpur-Rairakhol, Biramaharajpur-Athmallik and Biramaharajpur-Boudh has been snapped.

Meanwhile, the Boudh district administration is on high alert in view of water flowing close to danger mark in Mahanadi. The river is flowing at 105.43 metres against danger mark of 109 metres at Khairamal. Besides, water is flowing five feet above Jagannath Sadak near Dhalapur.

Khambashiripali, Nuapli, Deuli, Nuagada, Phulachara, Keutipali, Kelagaon and Kunjamahula villages in Boudh district are likely to be affected in case more water is released.

On the other hand, flood water being released from Hirakud Dam will take 36 hours to cross the Naraj barrage at Munduli. Around 7.5 lakh cusec water is expected to cross the barrage, said sources though SRC maintains that 8.5 lakh cusec water could flow.

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Authorities of Balimela reservoir in Malkangiri have also opened two gates out of 10 gates as water level has increased in the dam following incessant rain in the upper catchment areas. The Malkangiri district administration has alerted residents of Doraguda, Gunthawada and Nuaguda panchayats to move to safer destinations in case too much water flows into the area.

Speaking on preparedness for possible flood, Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi says, “The district administration has been alerted and NDRF and ODRAF units have been prepositioned in Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Puri districts as per their requisition. Keeping in view of the situation, people in low lying areas have also been alerted. Shelters have been kept ready to accommodate people in case of emergency.”