21 July : Torrential rains lashing Orissa have caused flash floods in 10 districts as major rivers continued to swell menacingly.The state government has sounded an alert and announced a two-day holiday for schools in Balasore district, official sources said.
The situation is likely to deteriorate with the met office saying the depression over Bay and Bengal is likely to trigger heavy to very heavy rainfall in the state along with squally wind speed ranging from 45 kmph to 65 kmph.
The revenue control room said Bhadrak, Cuttack, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Koraput, Nayagarh, Balangir and Sundargarh districts were affected by flash floods and torrential rains.
Met office sources said water levels in the Mahanadi, Devi, Baitarani, Brahmani, Subarnarekha, Tel, Hati, Bansadhara and Rushikulya rivers were near their danger marks at several places.
Flash floods in numerous hilly streams and rivulets continued to wreak havoc in southern and western parts of the state disrupting road communications.
Under the impact of the torrential rains, the water level at Hirakud reservoir has risen to 614.21 feet against its capacity of 630 feet, while the level at Naraj near Cuttack climbed up to 26.04 m, close to the danger mark at 26.41m.
The revenue control room sources said water level in the Devi river at Ali Pingala rose to 9.72 m against the danger mark at 11.76 m, while Bansadhara was flowing above the danger level at Kashinagar.The Rushikulya river too is flowing above the danger mark at Purushottampur.
Flood waters of Bansadhara and Nagavali rivers have disrupted road links between Rayagada and Koraput and Rayagada and Kalyansinghpur, official sources said, adding as many as 10 gram panchayats in Rayagada district are cut off due to landslides.
In Kalahandi district, Hati river created havoc as its water is flowing four feet over the bridge at Junagarh on NH 201.Low lying areas and paddy fields in the district have been inundated by the Tel river.
The two towns in the district Kesinga and Bhawanipatna – recorded 296 mm and 130 mm of rainfall respectively, since Sunday.In coastal Ganjam district, the situation is grim with about 6,000 people of seven villages in Bhanjanagar block marooned and several areas cut off from the rest of the state, sources said.
Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force has been pressed into service to rescue the marooned people and provide them relief.Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the situation and directed the officials to be prepared with adequate food material, medicine, clothes and boats for relief and rescue operation in the event of flood, official sources said.