Flood Threat: Odisha Govt Alerts Collectors In Mahanadi Basin

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Bhubaneswar: Following heavy rain in the Mahanadi river catchment area, the Odisha government has asked the collectors of 11 districts in its basin to remain alert.

The districts which have been issued flood alerts are Balangir, Sonepur, Boudh, Nayagarh, Angul, Cuttack, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda and Jajpur.

Special relief commissioner (SRC) and commissioner-cum-secretary, Disaster Management, Bishnupada Sethi on Tuesday  asked them to take up measures with about 11.5 lakh cusecs of floodwaters likely to be discharged at Mundali on Thursday between 6 AM and 10 AM

This is likely to cause medium flood in Mahanadi and its distributaries.

The measures:

—The Districts Emergency Operation Centre and Control Rooms of different departments at the district and sub-district levels may be immediately activated to function round the clock.
— It is to be ensured that all field officers and staff are in position. The officers and staff on leave shall be called back to duty forthwith.
— Proper arrangement may be made for patrolling of the river embankments. Help of police, PRI members, villagers and volunteers may be taken for the same.
— While 12 ODRAF teams and 3 NDRF teams have been deployed in the likely affected districts, the Fire Services teams available in the respective districts may be deployed to carry out search and rescue operations and assist in evacuation operations. Additional requirement of disaster response teams including fire service teams, if any, may be indicated.
— Special relief boats available at different places in the districts should be kept ready with the crew. Adequate number of life-saving kits and the boats may be utilised for rescue and flood relief operations.
— The collectors must immediately prepare the evacuation plan in respect of their districts and execute the same in due time giving highest priority to most vulnerable villages/habitations. Special care must be taken to shift the old, infirm, physically challenged, women and children to safe shelters well in advance.
— The soft copy of the Flood Hazard Zonation Atlas prepared by National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), circulated by Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), may be kept in view while making plans for the people likely to be affected by the flood.
— All cyclone and flood shelters in the likely affected areas should be immediately checked and made ready to house the evacuees. The water supply, lighting and sanitation arrangements in the shelters shall be checked and curative measures be taken. Inflatable tower lights available in cyclone/flood shelters and other offices/institutions should be used for lighting, where required.
— Other buildings as per requirement should also be identified by the district administration for use as a shelter where water supply, lighting and sanitation arrangements are to be made.
— Proper arrangements must be in place to take care of the basic requirements of the evacuees especially food, water, light, medicine, etc. at the shelter places. Medical Teams must visit the camp at the shelters to provide required health services to the evacuees.
— Arrangements must be made for pre-positioning adequate food materials including dry food and baby food for the affected people. Advance arrangements must be made for the operation of free kitchen locally in areas to be cut off in the event of a flood. Adequate stock of polythene is also to be ensured in the districts likely to be affected.
— Availability of sufficient foodstuff in hostels of all residential schools of ST & SC Development department and School and Mass Education department and Old Age homes, etc. in the flood-prone areas shall be ensured.
— Supply of safe drinking water to the people in affected areas is very important which must be ensured by the officers of concerned departments. While providing water purifying tablets and similar materials, people should be properly briefed about the procedure for their use.
— Stocking of required medicines and advance arrangements for the deployment of mobile medical teams has to be ensured.
— Advance arrangements must also be made to take care of cattle health and supply of cattle feed for the affected cattle population. Depending on the situation, the Collectors may assess the requirements of cattle feed and fodder and send their requisition.
— Immediate restoration of road communication for the movement of relief materials to the affected areas is very important. Works, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water and Housing and Urban Development departments must make necessary advance arrangements for the same.
— Similar advance arrangements must be made for the restoration of power supply in case of breakdown.
— Steps should be taken to disseminate correct information about the flood among the people with advice not to panic and follow the instructions of the government officials for shifting to the shelters where required.
— PRI members and Disaster Management teams, volunteers, shelter management and maintenance committee may be involved in relief and evacuation.

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