India – Floods Hit Odisha, More Evacuations in Maharashtra and Karnataka

More heavy monsoon rain has caused further flooding in India, this time in the eastern state of Odisha where over 6,000 people have been displaced according to disaster authorities.

Meanwhile further heavy rain in western areas has worsened the flood situation in Maharashtra and neighbouring Karnataka. Almost 140,000 people have been displaced by the recent flooding in Maharashtra and over 40,000 in Karnataka.

More heavy rain has been forecast by India Meteorological Department (IMD) for several states including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha and Kerala over the coming days. A meeting of India’s National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, Shri PK Sinha, was held on 08 August to review the prevailing flood situation.

Floods in Kolhapur, Maharashtra August 2019. Photo: Government of Maharashtra
Floods in Sangli, Maharashtra August 2019. Photo: Government of Maharashtra


Heavy rain was reported in parts of Odisha in recent days, in particular from 06 August, 2019, brought by a deep depression over the northwest Bay of Bengal.

In a 24 hour period to 07 August, IMD weather stations at Lanjigarh recorded 380mm of rain, Kutragud 260mm, Upper Indravati Dam 220mm and Gudari 190mm.

CWC reported that the Vamsadhara river at Kashinagar, Gajapati district was now flowing in above danger levels.

Flooding has affected around 27,000 people in Odisha since 05 August, with around 6,300 displaced and staying in 80 relief camps. Almost 1,200 houses have been damaged in the flooding.

The National Emergency Response Centre said worst affected districts are Rayagada, Gajpati and Kalahandi. The districts of Koraput, Malkangiri, Ganjam and Kandhamal were also affected.

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Meanwhile the flood situation has worsened in the western state of Maharashtra since 05 August. Almost 140,000 people have now been currently displaced. As of 07 August, the worst hit districts were Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli.

Over 53,000 people have been evacuated in Sangli, 51,000 in Kolhapur districts and around 6,000 in Satara district. Elsewhere, 2,500 people have evacuated their homes in Solapur.

Over 340 bridges are underwater and have been closed for vehicles while around 30 state highways and 56 roads have been closed to prevent accidents.

The Press Trust of India (PTI) reported that 16 people died in the Maharashtra floods between 01 and 07 August. PTI later reported on 08 August that a further 9 people had died and 4 were missing after a rescue boat overturned in Sangli district.

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High reservoir levels prompted authorities to open floodgates of several dams in Maharashtra and barrages and reservoirs in Karnataka.

Authorities in Karnataka complained that the releases in Maharashtra, in particular from the Koyna Dam, have worsened the flood situation in Karnataka, where the districts of Vijayapura, Belagavi, Bagalokot, Yadagiri and Raichur have all been affected.

Between 04 and 07 August, at least 5 people have died in the state. Karnataka’s Chief Minister’s Office said that a joint rescue team comprising of Fire and Emergency, State and National Disaster Response Forces and military have evacuated 43,858 people.

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More Heavy Rainfall, Full Reservoirs

IMD has forecast further heavy rain, with possible extremely heavy rainfall in isolated areas in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, East Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala from 07 to 10 August. Red alerts have been issued for Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts in Kerala.

Reservoirs in some of the affected states are approaching capacity. India’s Central Water Commission (CWC) figures showed that, as of 06 August, there were at least 17 reservoirs or barrages at or near maximum levels in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Levels of reservoirs dams approaching maximum levels in India as of 06 August 2019. Image / data: India CWC. Note: FRL = Full Reservoir Level, MRL = Maximum Retention Level