Climate Change

Rivers across Odisha swell even as cyclone draws near

A cyclonic formation in the Bay of Bengal will reach the north Odisha coast September 18, according to the IMD

By Ashis Senapati
Published: Friday 17 September 2021
A flooded village in the Bari block of Odisha's Jajpur district. Photo: Ashis Senapati
A flooded village in the Bari block of Odisha's Jajpur district. Photo: Ashis Senapati A flooded village in the Bari block of Odisha's Jajpur district. Photo: Ashis Senapati

Six days of incessant rainfall have caused rivers across several Odisha districts to swell, in turn paralysing normal life. Many embankments in riverside villages are on the verge of collapse.

The districts of Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Sambalpur, Baragarh, Balasore and Mayurbhanj are the most affected.

The Subarnarekha river was flowing at 10.59 metres at Rajghat in Balasore, against the danger level of 10.36 metres at around 12 PM September 17, 2021, Pradeep kr Jena, the Special Relief Commissioner of Odisha said in a statement to the media.

The water level in the Subarnarekha will reach its peak level of 11.5 metres by the midnight of September 17. It will result in the inundation of some low-lying villages in the district, Jena added.

The Mahanadi river at Naraj (Cuttack district), the Jalaka at Mathani (Jajpur), the Bansadhara at Gunupur (Rayagada), the Budhabalanga near National Highway number 5 (Balasore), the Baitarani at Akhuapada (Bhadrak) and the river Ib at Sundargarh (Sundargarh) were flowing near their danger marks, Dhiren Kumar Samal, engineer-in-chief of the water resources department, said.

At present, the water level of the Hirakud dam in Sambalpur district stands at 628.79 feet, against its storage capacity of 630 feet, Samal said.

The water in the reservoir was being discharged through 28 gates. The average inflow of water was 475,000 cusecs and the average outflow was 487,000 cusecs at 10 AM September 17, he added.

Samal informed that 626,000 cusecs of water were being discharged at Mundali in Cuttack district at 10 AM as the excess flood water released by Hirakud through 24 gates earlier had reached there.

“The flow at Mundali will increase after the excess water released from all the 28 gates reaches there. A peak flood flow of around 700,000-750,000 cusecs is expected by September 17 midnight,” Samal added.

Two persons died in a flash flood in Keonjhar district September 17. Earlier, two more deaths were reported in Jajpur district September 16. Two persons drowned in floodwaters in Mayurbhanj district September 16. 

 Road communication between Sambalpur and Subarnapur was cut off September 17 due to flooding that followed the opening of 28 gates of the Hirakud dam.

A cyclonic circulation over the Bay of Bengal is likely to move west-northwestwards and reach the north-western part of the Bay of Bengal off the north Odisha and West Bengal coasts around September 18, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

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