.........BHUBANESWAR: Over 40,000 people have been hit by floods in three districts of the State after heavy rains in the upper catchments left Subarnarekha and Baitarani rivers swelling on Tuesday.
Preliminary reports said Bhadrak district bore the brunt of the damage. Bhandaripokhari and Dhamnagar blocks were the most affected. In 25 villages of Bhandaripokhari block, over 20,000 people are estimated to have faced inundation. The local administration had evacuated several villagers in the morning when water level of Baitarani was on the rise.
More than 200 hectare crop land in Bhandaripokhari and 654 hectare in Dhamnagar blocks are reported to have been submerged. Two power boats and a health team were deployed in Solampur village under Bhandaripokhari. The ODRAF team is stationed at Dhamnagar.In Jajpur district, flood like situation emerged in Jajpur, Dasarathpur and Korei blocks, the local administration said. Two ODRAF teams have been engaged at Jajpur and Dasarathpur blocks for rescue and relief operations.
With catchments receiving heavy rain, water level in Subarnarekha at Rajghat was on the rise and five gram panchayats of Baliapal block in Balasore were affected.
However, the State Government said the situation is likely to improve by Wednesday as intensity of rain has dropped over the last 24 hours although administrations of Bhadrak, Jajpur and Balasore are closely monitoring the situation.
By 6 pm, Baitarani was flowing at 37 m against the danger mark of 38.36 m at Anandpur but the river water was showing a falling trend. At Akhuapada, it was flowing at 18.56 m against the red mark of 17.83 m with a receding trend.
However, Subarnarekha continued to swell. By 7 pm, the river was flowing at 11.15 m well above the danger level of 10.36 m at Rajghat. “We are expecting the water level to recede soon,” said the Special Relief Commissioner officer.
The India Meteorological Department sources said rainfall is likely to reduce over the region which will lead to an improvement in the situation. Though monsoon rains may occur, heavy showers are not expected till July 29.