Flash floods triggered by heavy rains in the past four days have hit about half a million people in four districts of northern Orissa, submerged thousands of acres of land, snapped electricity supply and disrupted road and train services, an official said Wednesday.
The situation is likely to worsen with rains continuing in the region and in the upper catchments areas, the official said.
"The total number of people affected would be about half a million," B Baral, Orissa's additional commissioner (relief), told IANS.
The media reported that several people are missing and at least two people died - one swept away in Balasore district and the other killed in a landslide in Mayurbhanj district. Baral, however, said the authorities have no such information.
All rivers in the districts of Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Bhadrak are in spate due to heavy rains caused by a depression in the Bay of Bengal and many of them are flowing above the danger level, said Durgesh Nandini Sahu, officer on special duty at the revenue control room.
The water level in river Subarnarekha was 12.03 metres against the danger level of 10.36 Wednesday at about 8 a.m. The overflowing river has submerged several villages in Balasore district, she said.
Water level in rivers Budhabalanga and Baitarani was 7.82 metres and 18.26 metres respectively against the danger level of 8.13 metres and 17.83 metres. All tributaries are overflowing, triggering floods in low lying areas, she said.
Road and railway services were disrupted in many of the flood hit areas, officials said.
Most of the trains going through the region have been terminated due to water-logging on railway tracks.
Howrah-Bhubaneswar-Howrah Dhauli Express, Bhubaneswar-Howrah Jan Shatabdi Express and Hyderabad-Howrah-Hyderabad East Coast Express have been cancelled, a railway official said.