India – Floods in Odisha After 3 Rivers Overflow – 2 Dead, 240,000 Affected

Local media are reporting that 2 people have been killed in recent flooding in the state of Odisha in eastern India. Flooding has affected 240,000 people across 282 villages in the 5 districts of Keonjhar, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj, Balasore and Bhadrak.

The Subarnarekha, Budhabalang and Baitarani rivers have all overflowed in the last 2 days as a result of heavy rainfall in Odisha and catchment areas including Jharkhand. Since then the situation has improved slightly.  Currently India’s Central water Commission Flood Forecast department report that only the Subarnarekha river is above flood stage in Odisha. As of 30 July, 2015, levels of the Subarnarekha at Rajghat in Balasore district stood at 10.56 metres, just above what is considered the danger level of 10.36 metres.

The deaths occurred in Balasore district when the victims were swept away by the flooded Subarnarekha river as they attempted to cross a flooded road.

India is also currently dealing with floods in several western states, where as many as 28 people have died in the last few days. The state of Gujarat is the worst affected.

Tropical Cyclone Komen

There could be more heavy rain to come for eastern India as Cyclone Storm “KOMEN”, which as of 30 July 2015 is over the north-east Bay of Bengal. It is expected to make landfall in the already flood-hit areas of Chittagong in south-east Bangladesh.

Cyclone Komen is expected to bring heavy rainfall to east and north-eastern India, in particular the states of West Bengal and Odisha, as well as the coastal areas of Myanmar. Myanmar is still recovering from recent floods in several regions which have left at least 19 people dead.

Odisha floods in 2013. Photo: ECHO
Odisha floods in 2013. Photo: ECHO