Heavy rains caused by a low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal have increased the water levels of the Mahanadi and 11 other rivers, leading to floods. The floods that began on 24th August have submerged villages and destroyed homes.
At least 14 lakh people in 20 districts are said to have been affected and as many as 17 deaths have been caused.
In response to the rise in water levels, 40 of the 64 gates of the Hirakud dam were opened to let out the excess water.
The effect of the floods is said to continue for a week till the many river embankments are repaired. Until then, those who have been replaced will not be able to return home.
Odisha has also seen a surge in Covid 19 cases with over 1 lakh cases in the state. In an ongoing pandemic, the floods add to the need of health facilities and timely administration by posing a threat of water-borne diseases. The affected districts also face a drinking water shortage.
State Disaster Response teams are in place and the administration has announced relief packages and compensations for those who have been affected.