Kendrapara/Mahakalapara: Amid heavy rains upstream, 34 gates of the Hirakud dam have been opened in Sambalpur. People living in riparian pockets in the downstream areas of Mahanadi, Paika and Luna rivers have been living in fear of possible floods in Kendrapara while the Mahanadi water level has been rising alarmingly in various parts. Fear of flood is gripping people of 55 panchayats in this district. On the other hand, due to tides, sea water has entered Batighat, Kalapatia, Pentha, Kansar, Dadadandua, Talachua, Satabhaya and Gangani panchayats. The administration has stepped up alertness on weak embankments along Chitrotpala, Luna, Karandia, and Paika rivers. Two ODRAF teams, one NDRF team, four teams of firefighters have reached Kendrapara to deal with the emerging flood situation.
Major cause of public concern is that embankments along these three rivers under Mahakalapara block are weak at many points. These embankments may collapse at those vulnerable points under pressure from the swirling flood waters, they apprehended. The breaches, if created, will wreak havoc in riparian pockets, locals added. People in Teragan under this block pointed out that a new embankment has been built on the left side of Luna river near Teragan Ghat, but small boulders have been used in the construction. They said that in case of flood, small boulders will not withstand