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14 lakh affected, 17 killed in Odisha floods

57,824 people being served cooked food after their evacuation from water-logged houses.

Over 14 lakh people were affected due to floods in five river systems of Odisha, said the State government here on Sunday.

“Heavy rain triggered by back-to-back low pressure area over Bay of Bengal had caused flooding in 20 districts. The situation is fast improving in areas falling under Subarnrekha, Burhabalanga, Baitarani and Brahmani river systems,” said Pradeep Jena, MD of the State Disaster Management Authority.

Seventeen people have lost their lives due to wall collapse and by slipping into swollen rivers.

Vast sheets of water

According to office of the Special Relief Commissioner, 2.65 lakh people were marooned by vast sheets of water in 340 villages and 57,824 people were being served cooked food after their evacuation from water-logged houses.

Preliminary assessment says 10,382 houses and 1.68 lakh hectare of crop land were affected by the flood.

The flood also caused massive damage to infrastructure. In 11 districts, 107 roads were cut off by the swirling water and 32 breaches on river embankments were detected in five districts.

In order to rescue people and provide essential material, 254 boats were deployed in different districts. Fourteen units of the National Disaster Response Force and 17 teams of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force were carrying out rescue and relief operations.

Authorities ruled out a massive flood in coastal districts as a little over 10 lakh cusecs was flowing through the Naraj barrage — the last major flood control structure before the Mahanadi water hit the low-lying coastal areas. In the past, the barrage had registered a flow of more than 15 lakh cusecs.

Peak water flow has passed: Official

“The water inflow into the Hirakud reservoir from the upper catchment was around 8 lakh cusecs while 7.5 lakh cusecs was being released through 46 gates of the dam. As per our estimate, the peak water flow has passed through Naraj,” said Anu Garg, State Water Resource Secretary.

Keeping in mind the vulnerability of the low-lying areas in Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Kendrapara districts, experienced engineers and night patrolling teams have been deployed along major embankments. The government has issued stern warning to people on deliberate breach of embankments.

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