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Flood threatens Mahanadi system

Heavy rains in its lower catchment has triggered a major flood situation in the Mahanadi system in Orissa as high alert was sounded in four coastal districts.

india Updated: Sep 18, 2008 14:24 IST

Heavy rains in its lower catchment has triggered a major flood situation in the Mahanadi system in Orissa as high alert was sounded in four coastal districts, official sources said on Thursday.

"We are apprehending a major flood in the Mahanadi system as a huge volume of water is heading downstream," Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy told reporters in Bhubaneswar.

Quoting Water Resources Department sources, Tripathy said, 14 lakh cusecs of water was expected to reach the Naraj delta head by Friday morning.

The embankments of the Mahanadi and its branches criss- crossing the coastal deltaic plains have a capacity to safely contain about 12 lakh cusecs of water, but if it is more then it could cause problems, he said.

While the Hirakud reservoir, built on the Mahanadi, was receiving 3,49,231 cusecs of water following heavy rains in Chhattisgarh, several sluices were opened to drain out 2,59,697 cusecs. "More sluices are likely to be opened," Hirakud control room sources said.

The flood was caused by heavy rains in the Mahanadi's lower catchment area below the Hirakud dam spread over the undivided Kalahandi and Balangir districts, the sources said.