34 persons killed in Odisha floods, 10 lakh people in 1,553 villages affected
BHUBANESHWAR: Flood waters engulfed vast areas of the
delta region of the Mahanadi river system in Odisha even as the death toll due
to heavy rains and floods in the state climbed to 34.
As many as 9.95 lakh people in 1,553 villages of 89
blocks in 23 districts have so far been affected due to the floods, the Special
Relief Commissioner said.
“Though the river Mahanadi is flowing above danger
mark at several places, there is no threat of substantial damage as the water
flow into Hirakud reservoir has come down,” Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK
The death toll due to floods and heavy rain in
different parts of the state went up to 34 with seven fresh deaths reported
since Wednesday, the SRC said, adding, most of the casualties were due to
drowning and wall collapse.
“It is a matter of relief that fear of a major high
flood has been averted. Volume of water flowing down Mahanadi at Munduli stood
at around 11 lakh cusec as against over 12 lakh cusec anticipated earlier,” he
The level in Hirakud reservoir stood at 628.08 ft as
against its full capacity of 630 ft and 50 of the 64 sluice gates were opened
for discharge of excess water, said Biswajit Mohanty, Chief Engineer of Hirakud
However, as flow of water into the river went down, it
has been decided to first close three gates and subsequently more gates after
assessing the situation, he said, adding flow into the reservoir from upper catchment
areas was now around 7.8 lakh cusec.
As river Mahanadi and its tributaries were flowing
above the danger level at several places including Naraj, Jobra and Daleighai,
flood water submerged many areas where relief and rescue operation was intensified.
Many parts of Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara,
Khurda and Puri districts were hit by flood in Mahanadi, even as situation in
Jajpur and Bhadrak districts continued to be grave due to submergence of vast
areas by flood in Baitarani though water level in the river is slowly falling,
the SRC said.