Most rivers in Orissa's northern district of Balasore were in spate after the third consecutive day of rains on Thursday, triggering fears of flood in at least 25 villages, officials said.
Water levels in the major rivers flowing in the coastal district - Budhabalanga, Subarnarekha, Kansabansa, Jalaka and Sona - were increasing, district emergency officer Bhagaban Behera told IANS.
Balasore, about 200 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, has been facing heavy rains due to a depression over the Bay of Bengal.
The water level in the Jalaka river was above the danger mark on Thursday morning, he said. The water in this river was flowing at 6.15 metres as against the danger mark of 5.5 metres at 6 pm, he said.
"At least 25 villages under five gram panchayats in Basta block will be flooded if the water level crosses the 6.50 metre mark," he said.
Although water levels in other rivers of the district were below the danger level, the possibility of flood cannot be ruled out if the rain continues, the official said.
The district received a total 369 mm of rain on Thursday.
"We have alerted people living in the low laying areas along the rivers to remain alert," District Collector AC Padhiary said.
Meanwhile, the meteorological office at Bhubaneswar on Thursday evening predicted heavy to very heavy rain at a few places and extremely heavy rains at isolated places in north Orissa including Balasore district.
Squally weather with wind from westerly direction with a speed of up to 70 kmph is likely to prevail along and off the north Orissa coast, an official said.