The Odisha government on Thursday put four districts on high alert as the water level in river Baitarani increased due to cyclone Yaas induced extremely heavy rainfall in the upper catchment areas. The districts of Keonjhar, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Bhadrak have been asked to take immediate measures as the water level in river Baitarani is flowing above danger level both at Anandapur and Akhuapada, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena told reporters here.
"We are expecting a medium range flood in the river Baitarani which may affect three major districts like Bhadrak, Jajpur and Kendrapara", Jena said, adding Keonjhar may be mildly affected due to the flood in river Baitarani. He said the water level at Anandapur around 2 pm was 39.08 metre against the danger level of 38.36 metre while it was 17.92 metre at Khuapada against the danger level of 17.83 metre.
As the water required at least 6 hours to reach Akhuapada, it is expected that the water level will rise by another one metre by Friday. Therefore, it will be a medium range flood in the river Baitarani, Jena said. Stating that the district administration of Bhadrak and Jajpur have already started evacuating people from the low laying area on the banks of river Baitarani, the SRC said the district collectors are personally monitoring the situation.
He said the upper catchment areas of river Baitarani have received huge rainfall triggered by the severe cyclonic storm Yaas. However, he said there is no such fear of flood in Budhabalanga and Subarnarekha river even as the Similipal Hills have received record amount of rainfall in last 48 hours.
He pointed out that Keonjhar district at the upper catchment of river Baitarani has received 127 mm of rainfall followed by 101 mm of rainfall in Sundergarh, 96 mm in Mayurbhanj and 92 mm in Deogarh. Therefore, the water level increased in the river Baitarani.
"However, we are optimistic that the medium level flood in Baitarani could be managed as it is summer. Had it been the case in monsoon or winter, the rainfall amount could have caused a high flood in Odisha," he said.