Odisha reviews preparedness to tackle flood

Bhubaneswar: With water level rising in several Odisha rivers following incessant rains and a forecast of more rains due to a depression, the state government today reviewed preparedness to deal with possible flood.

"There is a possibility of flood in Keonjhar, Jajpur and Bhadrak districts. All arrangements are being made to deal with any situation," Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra told reporters after the situation was reviewed at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra. Instruction has been given to the Collectors of these three districts to take steps for evacuation of people from low-lying areas to safe places, he said.

Teams of agencies like Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been sent to these districts to undertake necessary evacuation and rescue operations, Mohapatra said. In view of heavy rains pounding many parts of Odisha for the last three days and forecast of more rainfall, the SRC's office has already asked all the districts to remain watchful and be in readiness to meet any eventuality. The meteorological center here said more rainfall is expected for next few days as the low pressure area formed over North Bay of Bengal and adjoining areas of Gangetic West Bengal and Odisha has rapidly concentrated into a depression.

The depression lay centred over Northeastern parts of Odisha and adjoining areas of Gangetic West Bengal, about 50 km east of Baripada. The system would move west-northwestwards during next 24 hours, the met office said. Under its influence, rain and thundershower would occur at most places over Odisha till tomorrow, it said adding isolated extremely heavy fall with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places over interior Odisha and heavy to very heavy rainfall at one or two places over coastal Odisha would occur during next 24 hours.

Gusty surface wind of 45 to 55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph may prevail along and off Odisha Coast, the met office said advising fishermen not to venture into sea. Stating that river Baitarani was flowing at 39.4 mt at Anandpur as against the danger level of 38.36 mts, Mohapatra said there was nothing to worry and the water level in other rivers continued to be below danger marks. Similarly, Jalaka rivulet was flowing above the danger level near Basta in Balasore district, a report from SRC office here said. Major rivers like Mahanadi, Brahmani, Budhabalanga, Subarnarekha, Vamsadhara and Rushikulya were flowing below their danger levels, it said

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