Bhubaneswar: Around seven lakh people have been affected by floods in 14 districts of Orissa of which 5,000 have been evacuated to safer places, even as the state government launched relief and rescue measures on a war-footing.
While 5,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas in seven districts, help of INS Chilka has been sought from the Centre, official sources said.
Five persons have died so far in the calamity. 29 relief camps and free kitchens have been opened in inundated areas, they said.
The 14 flood-affected districts are Balasore, Bargarh, Bhadrak, Boudh, Deogarh, Jajpur, Nupada, Jagatsinghpur, Jharsuguda, Kendtrapara, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh, Sambalpur and Subarnapur. Livestock in the region has also been severely hit.
Meanwhile, the entire coastal region in the Mahanadi delta is set to encounter severe flood as the water level at Hirakud dam on the river rose to 629.25 feet against its capacity of 630 feet, sources said.
In order to discharge excess water from the reservoir, 59 gates, including 55 sluice and four crest gates, were kept open since yesterday, they said.
Nearly 13 lakh cusec of water was flowing through Munduli near Cuttack, where Mahanadi river bifurcated, and the flow is expected to increase upto 13.5 lakh cusec, according to Water Resources Department Secretary Suresh Mohapatra.
"About 500 weak points have been identified on river banks and embankments, of which 28 may breach. Engineers and experts have been sent there to keep vigil," he said.