Bhadrak/Balasore: Amid torrential rains induced by low pressure, over 200 villages in six blocks of Bhadrak district were marooned while river Baitarani was swelling due to heavy rains in the upstream areas. According to the preliminary report of the district administration, floods have damaged crops in 16,554 hectares of farmland. Since Saturday, the water levels in all rivers in the districts of Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak and Balasore have started swelling. Baitarani is flowing above the danger mark at Akhuapada.
Lowlying areas under Dhamnagar block were inundated even as water level of Salandi, Genguti and Kochila kept on rising. Besides, scores of villages in Basudevpur and Tihidi blocks were again flooded due to entry of floodwater from Kansabansa, Kanchudi, Dhala, Mantei, Gamei, Reba Kapali and Salandi rivers. People in Palasahi panchayat were panicked after two cracks appeared on Baitarani river embankment.
As water level is increasing, there is every possibility of the embankment giving in to force of floodwater. Some roads in Bankasahi panchayat were inundated. Junior engineer Kishore Chandra Nayak of the water resources department said that the department had made arrangements of sand packets at the cracks.
In another development, a 200- feet stretch of Genguti embankment in Dhamnagar area has caved in making it vulnerable for total collapse in case of more rain. As many as 70 families were worried and in panic over the situation. Locals alleged that due to sub-standard work, the embankment was prone to collapse. In Balasore, water levels in many rivers including Budhabalanga, Kansabansa, Jalaka, Gangahar and Naluha are on the rise. With water level in Jalaka river under Basta block rising, thousands of hectares of farmlands have been inundated in low-lying areas. Sona river is also in spate.
Areas like Nijampur, Mandarpur, Durgadevi, Badapal, Dahapada, Sindhia and Kaincha panchayats under Remuna block are facing imminent danger of floods. Chandipur, Srikona and Gudupahi under Sadar block were inundated by floodwater. Mathani, Dudhihansa and Baharda localities under Basta block were flooded.