Bhubaneswar, Sep 16 (IANS) With two more deaths reported, the toll due to heavy rain in Odisha rose to six, officials said on Wednesday.
According to a report of the office of Special Relief Commissioner P.K. Jena, three people in Kendrapara district and one each in Subarnapur and Ganjam districts died due to wall collapse, while one died in Khordha district due to drowning. Two other persons are reported missing from Cuttack and Balangir districts.
Over 23.82 lakh people in 24 out of the state's 30 districts have been affected due to incessant rains triggered by a low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal. A total of 7,540 houses have also been affected due to the heavy rain, the report said.
The District Collectors have been instructed to submit the damage assessment report by September 22, so that the affected people could be given assistance.
For rescue and relief operations, the State has deployed five teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and two teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in affected Balasore, Bhadrak, and Kendrapada districts. The local administrations have evacuated 20,552 persons from the affected areas, it said.
With all major rivers of the state are in spate due to heavy rainfall, Jena has expected a medium flood in the Mahanadi river system as more sluice gates of the Hirakud reservoir have been opened.
At least 28 gates of the Hirakud reservoir have been opened after heavy rain was reported in the upper catchment area of the reservoir in Chhattisgarh. While 3.19 lakh cusecs of water are entering the reservoir, the same volume of water is being discharged every second from the dam, sources said.
The Brahmani river is flowing above the danger level at Akhuapada while the water level of Jalaka river has crossed the danger mark at Mathani. However, rest of the rivers including Mahanadi, Ib, Devi, Subarnarekha, Budhabalanga, and Bansadhara are flowing below the danger mark, sources said.
Several villages in Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, and Balasore districts have been marooned in the rain water and communication to these villages has been disrupted.
Jena said the district administrations are taking measures to ensure that the flood does not cause much damage in the Mahanadi area. Men and equipment are being kept in readiness to manage the situation, he said.
Engineers of the Water Resources Department are keeping a close watch on the vulnerable river embankments so that there is no breach in them when the medium flood passes through the Mahanadi river, Jena added.