Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 6:
The flood situation in the Mahanadi river basin in Odisha has turned critical forcing the authorities of the Hirakud dam to open 50 gates to release excess floodwater today.
While 24 gates were opened yesterday, six more gates were opened by 11 AM today after which 20 gates were opened in phases by evening.
Briefing the media, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Mohapatra said about 12 lakh cusecs of water is likely to pass Mundali barrage at Naraj by midnight today.
Replying to the possibility of high flood in the delta area, he said all the riverside districts are on high alert to meet any eventuality.
“We would be relieved after the floodwater passes through the Mundali barrage. We are having a close watch on all capital embankment areas of the river and there is no report of any breach in these areas till now”, Mohapatra said.
He, however, said that the low lying areas of Kanas block of Puri is likely to be affected by the floodwater.
Giving the latest flood updates, he said a total of 9.94 lakh people of 1553 villages in 23 districts have been affected by floods in all major rivers and their tributaries while 1.39 lakh people in the low-lying areas have been shifted to safer places.
“For relief and rescue operations, a total of 11 NDRF teams and 30 ODRAF teams have been deployed in the flood-affected districts while 184 country boats have been pressed into service in these areas”.
The SRC also informed that the flood death toll in the state has gone up to 27 by this evening.