Persistent downpour sparks flood fear in Odisha, more gates of Hirakud dam opened

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    Bhubaneswar: Incessant rains continued across Odisha even on Thursday, triggering apprehensions of yet another flood in the state. While the meteorology department predicted more downpour in several parts of the state at least till Saturday, the administration and people in vulnerable flood zones in the state were waiting with baited breath fearing yet another flood.

    Meanwhile, with more rains in the upper catchment areas of River Mahanadi, Hirakud dam authorities opened four more sluice gates of the reservoir to release flood water. Initially, two gates of the dam were opened on Wednesday and it was increased to 11 within hours. Again with more water inflow into the reservoir, four more gates of the dam were opened on Thursday taking the total to 15 by noon, sources said.

    Dam authorities informed that the water level of the reservoir was 623.25 feet on Wednesday and it increased to 623.69 feet on Thursday, which prompted opening of four more gates. The optimum level of the reservoir is 630 feet, officials said.

    Asked, if release of more flood waters would create flood situation, officials of Hirakud dam stated as of now there is no heavy rain in the lower catchment areas. Hence, there is no fear of flood, they added.