Flood fury in Orissa claims 16 lives,affects two million people

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 20 (UNI) The flood fury has caused havoc in coastal Orissa submerging hundreds of villages, disrupting road network badly while affecting nearly 20 lakh people in 110 blocks of 17 districts and leaving 191 villages and 18 urban local bodies marooned.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in a letter to Prime Minister sought a central assistance of Rs 1500 crore and demanded to declare the floods as a national disaster.

Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy described the flood as an unprecedented and said the enormity of the flood was worse than the recent floods of Koshi in Bihar.

Mr Tripathy said the flood was the highest in last 26 years of the state and claimed 16 lives so far.

Giving the break-up, he said while four people died in Jajpur, Anugul and Cuttack reported three deaths each,Bhadrak two and Bolangir, Jagatsinghpur, Keonjhar and Sambalpur one each.

Out of the 17 districts the situation in Cuttack,Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Kendrapara was the worse due to high flood in Mahanadi river system.

The other districts affected in the recent flood were Anugul, Bhadrak, Bolangir, Boudh, Gajapati, Jajpur,Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Khurda, Nayagarha, Rayagada, Sambalpur and Subarnapur.

The floods damaged crop area over 2.47 lakh hectares in the state and caused 31 major breaches in different areas.

The Chief Secretary said so far 1.80 lakh people had been evacuated and 248 free kitchens centres opened covering more than 1.12 lakh beneficiaries.

Emergency relief in the shape of rice, chuda, gur had been provided and cattle feed supplied to eight affected districts.

Five persons of Manikpur village in Kantamal block of Boudh district and two persons of Garadpur block of Kendrapara district had been rescued by helicopter for the first time in the history of Orissa.

As many 240 power boats and mechanized boats had been deployed from the state headquarter and 1150 boats requisitioned by the Collectors and pressed in to service.

Air dropping of foods was made today at Banki and it would continue in some more inaccessible areas tomorrow.

Banki in Cuttack district and six Grampanchayts of 22 Mauja in Jagatsinghpur districts were totally cut off from the rest of the world after major breaches occured in these area.

As many 252 medical relief camps had been opened in different parts of the affected areas and 68 mobile medical teams deployed to take care of the people.

Sufficient quantity of anti-diahorrea medicines, halogen tablets and medicine were stocked in all affected district headquarters.

Mr Tripathy said flood situation is likely to continue for a week adding that all the district collectors in the flood hit areas were asked to open their offices to undertake the relief and rehabilitation work.

UNI BD-DP SJC RN2022

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