Bhubaneswar, Sep 11 : Flood's fury in Mahanadi and other rivers has wreaked havoc in Orissa submerging about 2,600 villages spread over 19 districts and leaving eight dead as the state government today stepped up relief and rescue operations for 11 lakh affected people.
The floods, which claimed eight lives and left three others missing so far, have snapped road communications at several places in Puri, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Sambalpur, Boudh and Sonepur districts, official sources said.
With low lying areas submerged by flood waters, about 61,000 people have been evacuated and sheltered in safe places as government intensified relief work for about 11 lakh people in 2,600 villages of 19 districts.
As 13.66 lakh cusec water flowed from the flooded Mahanadi through Mundali near Cuttack, a large number of breaches were created in the river system in the thickly populated delta region, sources said.
The situation is likely to improve by tomorrow as the water level at Hirakud dam fell to 628.41 feet following reduced inflow into the reservoir, water resources department secretary Suresh Mohapatra said.
With water flow into Hirakud reservoir dropping to 7.55 lakh cusec, 16 gates of the dam were closed leaving 43 open through which about 8.9 lakh cusec water was being discharged, a senior official said.
Though the volume of water flow in Mahanadi and other rivers has dropped, the situation is likely to remain critical for the next two days as it would be difficult for excess water to be released into the sea due to high tide on account of full moon tomorrow, Mohapatra said.