Odisha Prepares A Flood Atlas Aided By Satellite Imagery

Odisha, already a pioneer in adapting to novel methods of disaster management, has now prepared a unique flood hazard atlas on the basis of past inundation data from 2001 to 2018. The move will go a long way to help the government deal with cases of flooding more efficiently.

The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), a division of the ISRO, had taken up the study on flood hazard zonation for Odisha. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik officially released the atlas at the State-level Natural Calamity Meeting in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. Vast patches of the state are inundated due to flooding every year, with the Mahanadi, Brahmani, Baitarani, Subarnarekha and Rushikulya being the cardinal sources for such floods. Some of the rivers like the Vamsadhara and Budhabalanga, result in flash floods due to their instant run-off from hilly areas.

The NRSC analysis reveals that about 8.96% (13.96 lakh hectares) of land in Odisha was affected by floods during the period 2001-2018. Out of the total, about 2.81 lakh hectares of land falls under high (inundated seven-nine times) to very high (inundated 10-14 times) flood hazard categories. Districts like Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghapur, Balasore, Puri, Jajpur, Khordha and Cuttack are more flood-affected, the study concluded. As high as 77% of Bhadrak and 70% of the Kendrapara district have been categorised as flood hazard.

“All such combined flood layers for 18 years were integrated into flood hazard layer representing the observed flood-inundated areas with different frequencies. This layer was integrated with the digital database layers of Odisha,” said Dr. Diwakar, who is the Director of Earth Observation, Application and Disaster Management Support Programme Office of the ISRO. The atlas would serve as a “useful resource of information for policy makers, planners and civil society groups”, said Chief Secretary A. P. Padhi.

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