Cracks in river embankments trigger flood panic in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Panic gripped locals following collapse of river embankments in separate places in Odisha.

The Uparashailo river embankment in Padhani panchayat under Dhamnagar block of Bhadrak district has collapsed 250 ft below triggering concerns.

Locals claimed that even as a solid stone packing was done to prevent erosion of the embankment, heavy and incessant rainfall washed away the packing. According to sources, contractors along with local residents have taken up repair work on war footing.

“We have already stacked up sandbags and stones to fill up the cracks, but fear looms large as the embankment is weak and could break. We urge the administration to take steps for our safety,” said a local.

Similarly, a fifty-foot crack has been reported in the embankment of Kochila River near Tareisahi in Bhadrak. Sources said the embankment was repaired a month earlier and the breach has evoked sharp reactions from the locals who questioned the quality of work.

“The embankment has collapsed three to four times since its construction and at present it is giving us sleepless nights as we worry that the embankment might collapse completely,” said Dusashan Patra, a resident of Tareisahi.

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While most places in the state have had a sigh of relief after the government assured that there was no chance of a major flood; release of season’s first floodwater from Hirakud Dam and stagnant floodwater continue to throw normal life out of gear in many parts.

As many as five panchayats of Khurda district have been marooned.

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