Kendrapara: Battered by mighty sea waves, a four-decade-old coastal embankment near seaside Pentha village has caved in, exposing large chunks in Odisha’s Rajnagar block headquarters to tidal ingress.
"Sea waves smashed portions of the old embankment at Pentha and about 500 metre embankment wall has broken up. However, another protective embankment put in place about 50 metres from the erosion-hit embankment is safe," Executive Engineer, Saline Embankment Division, Kendrapara, Jugal Kishore Tripathy said.
"There is wide gap between the damaged old embankment and the 700 metre long new embankment. The advancing seawater has formed an artificial lagoon between the two. But the new one is protected. There is no immediate cause for alarm," he said.
Engineers are at the spot monitoring the work to save the portions of embankment that is still intact with temporary measures like stocking sand-bag and installing bamboo poles at the old embankment are underway, the official said.
As many as six villages near Pentha were eaten up by sea in cataclysmic 1971 cyclonic waves when the 1,200 population from Jaudia, Gohipur, Ichapur, Baunsagada, Goladiha and Sasana were washed away.
The villages like Pentha, Endulasahi, Prasanapur, Sundaripala and Khandamara under Brahmanasahi gram panchayat had escaped the 1971 cyclonic devastation. But the safety of these villagers is now at stake as intensity of sea erosion is alarming and frightening, another official said.
The World Bank-funded geo-tube buffer to arrest sea erosion has failed to kick-start in these areas.