About 3,000 people were evacuated from the low-lying areas of Orissa after a huge discharge of water from the Hirakud Dam triggered fears of floods in 11 of the state's 30 districts, an official said on Friday.
According to reports, at least 1,600 people were moved from low-lying areas to safer places in Boudh district, an official of the state flood control room here told IANS.
About 500 people in Jharsuguda and 300 people in Subarnapur were evacuated from the low-lying areas of these districts. Some were evacuated on Thursday night, others early on Friday, he said.
Due to heavy rains in the upper catchment areas in the past several days, including in Chhattisgarh, a huge quantity of water is entering the Hirakud reservoir on the river Mahanadi in Sambalpur district, about 350 km from here.
As a result, the dam authorities had to release the excess water by opening 53 of its 64 sluice gates yesterday.
With two more gates opened Friday, the number of total gates opened increased to 55, so far, the official said. The released water is likely to reach several downstream areas by evening.
The inflow of water to the Hirakud Dam was 1,015,093 cusecs and outflow was 888,031 cusecs early on Friday, he said.
The state government has asked the collectors of all 11 districts located along the Mahanadi river and its tributaries to remain alert and evacuate more people from the low-lying areas if necessary, special relief commissioner PK Mohapatra said.