Floods in Orissa: –

The 482 km long of coastline of Orissa exposes the State to flood, cyclones and storm surges. Heavy rainfall during monsoon causes floods in the rivers. Flow of water from neighbouring States of Jharkhand and Chattisgarh also contributes to flooding. The flat coastal belts with poor drainage, high degree of siltation of the rivers, soil erosion, breaching of the embankments and spilling of floodwaters over them, cause severe floods in the river basin and delta areas. In Orissa, rivers such as the mahanadi, Subarnarekha, Brahmani, Baitarani, Rushikulya, Vansadhara and their many tributaries and branches flowing through the State expose vast areas to floods.

In Orissa, damages are caused due to floods mainly in the Mahanadi, the Brahmani, and the Baitarani. These rivers have a common delta where flood waters intermingle, and when in spate simultaneously, wreak considerable havoc. This problem becomes even more acute when floods coincide with high tide. The water level rises due to deposits of silt on the river-bed. Rivers often overflow their banks or water rushes through new channels causing heavy damages. Floods and drainage congestion also affect the lower reaches along the Subarnarekha. The rivers Rusikulya, Vansadhara and Budhabalanga also cause occasional floods.

The entire coastal belt in prone to storm surges. The storms that produce tidal surges are usually accompanied by heavy rain fall making the coastal belt vulnerable to both floods and storm surges. People die; livestock perish; houses are washed away; paddy and other crops are lost and roads and bridges are damaged. The floods of 1980, 1982, 2001 and 2003 in the State were particularly severe; property worth crores of rupees was destroyed in the floods.

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