Bhubaneswar: Floods triggered by heavy rain in the past week have hit nearly a million people in Odisha, with the number of deaths rising to 27, an official said Wednesday.
Nearly one million people have been affected so far following heavy rain and floods in the state since Saturday, an official of the state flood control room told IANS.
"Till now, 398 villages with 241,658 people have been marooned, 139,023 people have been evacuated and 429 free kitchens are running to provide meals to the flood-affected," he added.
As many as 11 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams and 30 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams have been deployed to assist the administration in rescue and relief operations, he said.
The defence ministry has been requested to keep two choppers on stand-by for airdropping and rescue operation if required, he said.
The Baitarani river is flowing below the danger level at Anandpur in Keonjhar district but it is above the danger mark at Akhuapada in Bhadrak district.
All other major rivers in the state are flowing below the danger level, he said.
Authorities have opened 40 gates of the Hirakud dam on the Mahanadi river in Sambalpur district after heavy rain in the upper catchment area.
The released water in the Mahanadi is likely to pass the delta head Mundali in Cuttack Wednesday midnight and it will take another 12-24 hours to reach other areas downstream, he said.
As a result, threat of fresh floods looms over several coastal districts, including Cuttack and Jagatsinghpur.
The state government is vigilant and prepared to tide over the situation, he added.
The Mahanadi river at Naraj in Cuttack district was flowing at 26.74 metres at 6 p.m. against the danger level of 26.41 metres.