Bhubaneshwar Sep 19: A flood warning has been sounded in Orissa and across Gujarat. What could be Orissa's biggest floods in the last decade is heading to the state's coast on Friday, Sep 18. The reason - heavy rainfall in the upper catchment areas of River Mahanadi.
Hirakud dam in Sambalpur district is witnessing a heavy inflow and as a result more crest gates are now open. Almost 10 lakh people in Cuttack, Puri, Kendrapara and Jagatsighpur districts of coastal Orissa are likely to be affected by the flooding waters. Orissa's Special Relief Commissioner, N K Sunderray says, "By Friday morning, 14 lakh cusec of water will cross Naraj barrage in Cuttack. It's a very big flood." The district administration has ordered people staying in vulnerable areas to move to safer places. Power boats are being pressed into service to evacuate thousands of people. The Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force, fire brigade and the entire district administration are also being engaged in the process.Two IAF helicopters are ready to start rescue and relief operations when ever required.
Sunderray says, "We have requested the people to take their valuables and dry food for three days and evacuate to the safer places as advised by the district administration. We are not giving anyone the leverage to argue on this matter and have made evacuation mandatory because we only have 24 hours with us."The torrential rains that lashed the region for the past three days have already left at least four people dead.
With no appreciable improvement in weather, flash floods caused due to incessant heavy rains continue to stall life in various parts of India. People in Surendranagar District in Gujarat are grappling with the flood situation as many areas are under knee-deep water. The region has received heavy rainfall in last 24 hours and many places have turned into virtual islands making movement difficult in the region.
Situation in the region remained grim and the state administration called in rescue workers to bail out stranded people. "In Surendranagar the flood water is creating havoc in addition to the 10-12 surrounding villages which are also affected," said Harsha Vohra, Sub Divisional Magistrate Ahmedabad. Meanwhile heavy rains have triggered flood situation in the Mahanadi river system in Orissa forcing the officials to sound a high alert in costal districts of the state.
Incessant heavy rains have caused water in the Hirakud Dam built over the Mahanadi river to cross the danger level. Large amount of water has been released from the dam, which has further worsened the situation in areas downstream the river. As a precautionary measure the Orissa government has ordered closure of all schools and colleges in flood affected region for next two days. Heavy rains have lashed Orissa since Saturday due to low pressure over the Bay of Bengal. Official media reported that nine people have lost their lives in the current rains and floods in the State.