3 More Killed in Odisha Floods

Three people have been killed in floods in the Indian state of Odisha over the last two days. Torrential rainfall – some areas saw 350 mm in just a few hours – has left river levels dangerously high, prompting authorities to issue flood warnings in 12 districts.

Odisha’s Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Mohapatra said that the worst affected districts are Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda, Cuttack, Boudh, Nayagarh and Keonjhar.

Levels of the Mahanadi, Baitarani and Budhabalanga rivers are extremely high and close to flood stage. The SRC are making it a priority to monitor embankments for possible breaches. Smaller rivers, especially the Jalaka, Kansabansa and Sono rivers in Balasore, and the Salandi and Nalia in Bhadrak district are also close to flood stage.

One person was killed when flood water forced a wall to collapse in Boudh district. The other two victims both drowned in flood water, one in Sambalpur district and the other in Kandhamal. Over 4,000 people had to be evacuated from the low-lying areas of Sambalpur. They are now being houses in 22 temporary camps. Residents of Sambalpur say that the flood situation was worsened by inadequate or blocked drainage.

Rainfall Figures

The heavy rainfall is a result of a tropical depression now centred over Jharkhand state. Further heavy rainfall across much of Odisha is expected over the next 24 hours.

The SRC reported that Sambalpur received over 350 mm rainfall during a few hours on Monday 04 August 2014. Indian media say that Sunday’s rainfall was even worse, with 489 mm of rain falling within a span of eight hours.

According to WMO figures, in the 24 hours period up to 04 August:

  • Balasore – 123 mm
  • Bhubaneswar – 65 mm

And the 24 hours period up to early 05 August

  • Jharsuguda – 117 mm

Odisha was hit by floods in late July 2014 when at least 6 people died.