Cyclone Yaas: Flash Flood Threat In Odisha’s Mayurbhanj, Evacuation Begins

Bhubaneswar: Following the overnight heavy rainfall in Similipal under the influence of Cyclone Yaas, a flash flood in Budhabalang river has loomed large in Mayurbhanj district.

Informing the media on Wednesday, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena said as the water level of Budhabalang is gradually rising, the district administration has been directed to begin the evacuation of people in riverside villages with immediate effect.

As the very severe cyclonic storm Yaas has crossed the coast and will enter Mayurbhanj district as a cyclonic storm by this afternoon, there will be extremely heavy rainfall in the district for 12 hours, he said.

Asked about the measures taken by the district administration, Mayurbhanj collector Vineet Bhardwaj said about one lakh people living along the riverside villages have already been evacuated to safer places and those who are still in these areas will be evacuated with the help of the police by this afternoon.

Mayurbhanj SP Smit Parmar said the ODRAF teams deployed in the riverside villages are requesting the people to leave their houses and move to safer places. “We are trying to ensure that there will be complete evacuation. If the people do not heed our request, we will forcibly evacuate them,” he added.

On the other hand, the Water Resources Department claimed there will be no flood situation in Budhabalang.

“Prior to heavy rainfall in Mayurbhanj district, the water level in Budhabalang was much below. Apart from this, the water level in the medium reservoirs in the district is below the average level. In case there is more rainfall in the district, it will take more time for the water level to go beyond the danger mark. Besides, the excess flood water will be diverted to the medium reservoirs,” engineer-in-chief, Water Resources Jyotirmay Rath told the mediapersons.

However, he said as Similipal has received 146 mm rainfall in the last 12 hours and is going to receive more rainfall for the next 12 hours, the floodwater of Budhabalang is most likely to enter the riverside villages. In such cases, evacuation of the people in the riverside villages will be necessary. “We are consistently monitoring the water level of the river and we will take steps accordingly,” Rath pointed out.

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