ibnlive » India

Sep 20, 2008 at 11:52am IST

Orissa, Guj, Maharashtra reel under floods

New Delhi: The curse of floods continues. Orissa, Gujarat and Maharashtra are reeling under the wrath of untimely rains.

There was a late night breakthrough in rescue operations at Bhandardara in Maharashtra. Five engineers who were trapped in the flood waters since Friday morning were finally rescued around 02:00 hrs IST on Saturday.

The situation continues to be grim in Nashik with most bridges being submerged and water levels reaching the first floor of buildings after 75,000 cusecs of water has been released from Gangapur dam.

The floods have drowned a few villages while many others are badly affected by the rising waters. In Igatpuri, water has entered the railway station affecting operations there. Rescue work continues as people are being evacuated from danger areas.

In Orissa, the coastal districts of Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Puri remain on high alert. Seven people have died so far and more than 6 lakh people in over 15 districts have been affected by the rising waters of the Mahanadi river, which is expected to further rise to a alarming 16 lakh cusecs.

Forty-thousand people have been forced to evacuate their homes so far.

A worried Orissa government has asked the Army to remain on stand-by for relief work and has also urged the Chhattisgarh government to stop releasing water from Ravishankar barrage to avoid a severe flood. About 100 experts and engineers have also been rushed to 18 highly vulnerable points on the embankments of the Mahanadi to check for breaches.

And in Gujarat heavy rains continue for the fifth consecutive day. People in at least 20 villages remain stranded. Daang and Navsari districts in Western Gujarat have been heavily flooded and more than 500 families have been displaced in the area. The region's Purna river has risen to a dangerous 25 feet.

Meanwhile, the areas of Surendernagar, Bhavnagar, Junagarh, Amreli and some parts of Ahmedabad continue to be flooded. Atleast 20 villages have been submerged and four flood reported deaths have been reported so far.

The Army has been called in and the local administration is using fire brigade teams to rescue stranded villagers but so far only 3000 people have been moved to safer ground. Movement of essential supplies has also been hampered as the Surendranagar-Ahmedabad highway remains closed.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi did an aerial survey of flood-affected villages in Ahmedabad and Surendranagar districts on Friday to take stock of the situation.