Full moon day slows flood water release, Odisha villages fight waterlogging
The flood has affected at least 1.4 million people across 20 districts of the state, but the districts of Jajpur, Kendrapara and Khurda have been the worst hit.Updated: Sep 02, 2020, 15:11 IST
The flood situation in Odisha continued to remain grim as thousands of villages in Jajpur, Kendrapara and Khurda continued to remain waterlogged as the tidal waves in Bay of Bengal due to full moon day kept repelling the floodwaters from entering the sea.
Engineer-in-chief of water resources department Jyotirmaya Rath said water level in major rivers was not coming down due to high tidal conditions. “As today is a full moon day the discharge of floodwater from Mahanadi river system and Brahmani river into the Bay of Bengal has not been fast and swift. As the sea is unsteady due to the natural impact of the full moon, the steady discharge of river water into the sea will begin only by Thursday. It will take another three to four days for the situation to improve,” Rath said.
The flood has affected at least 1.4 million people across 20 districts of the state, but the districts of Jajpur, Kendrapara and Khurda have been the worst hit.
So far, 22 people in the state have died due to the flood. A total of 3256 villages under 896 gram panchayats in 112 blocks were hit due to the massive flood resulting in the wake of incessant rainfall due to back to back low pressures in the Bay of Bengal.
In Jajpur and Kendrapara districts, several villages continued to remain dark as electricity substations were submerged in floodwater. Jajpur district, which was fighting the rage of Baitarani river and its tributaries for the last few days, is gradually getting back to normalcy. However, 13 out of the 29 flood affected panchayats are still fighting to stay afloat in this terrible flood situation.
Villagers whose houses were washed away by floodwaters have been forced to stay in temporary huts on river embankments. With handpumps and ponds contaminated by flood water, villagers have little drinking water. As many don’t have an LPG connection, villagers are finding it difficult to arrange dry firewood to cook their food.
“If the initial flood was bad, the waterlogging has made it worse. We have to wade in deep water to defecate in some dry place as latrines are waterlogged. We are scared of snakebites at night,” said farmer Ajay Nayak of Bari block in Jajpur district. In Bari block a woman bitten by a snake was carried through the flooded village roads in a large aluminium vessel to the hospital.
In Kendrapara district, the anger over government apathy in reaching out to the flood-affected people boiled over when angry villagers heckled BJD MP Anubhav Mohanty over his alleged negligence in visiting the people of his constituency. Mohanty, who was on a visit to flood-ravaged Alapua village under Pattamundai block of the district on Monday, was gheraoed by locals over alleged negligence on part of the actor-turned-MP citing that he is seldom seen in the worst-hit areas.
Villagers in Kendrapara said they never expected the flood to linger for so long and are now wary of an outbreak of waterborne diseases. “While we somehow manage in the daytime, the nights are unbearable due to lack of electricity. We have to either burn candles or lamps to get by,” said a villager in the Rajkanika block of Kendrapara. Kendrapara district emergency officer Sambit Satpathy said 2.6 lakh people in this district have been affected by the flood.