Orissa flood claims 48 lives, four million affected

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 24 (UNI) The flood fury in the Mahanadi river system in Orissa has so far claimed 48 lives in the state and affected nearly four million people in 129 blocks spread over 18 districts.

Even a week after the flood caused havoc in coastal Orissa, 827 of the total 5722 affected villages were still reported marooned.

The state government had pressed nearly 1510 boats in the rescue and relief operation and evacuated about 3.67 lakh people. As per the preliminary assessment, crops over 4.41 lakh hectare had been damaged, while over 1.26 lakh houses either fully or partially destroyed in the flood.

State Revenue Secretary G V V Sharma said the Air force helicopters, pressed in the airdropping of food in the in accessible areas, had so far made 56 sorties. The air dropping would continue for another three days as a vast stretch still remained submerged din flood water.

The Revenue Secretary said as many as 939 roads in four districts and 91 embankments had been breached in the flood. Banki and Puri towns were still cut off on road.

The East Coast Railway authorities, however, restored the rail communication to Puri city today which was snapped for last two days following overflow of flood waters on a railway bridge near Delang station.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today chaired a high level meeting to review the relief and rescue operation in the flood-battered areas.

The meeting decided to procure rice from the open market and Food Corporation of India(FCI) for providing relief to the affected people.It was also decided to purchase 600 ton of polythene and supply them to the flood-affected people.

The Chief Minister directed the officials to provide adequate relief materials to the affected people, undertake the assessment of the damages to the houses and provide house damage assistances to the people.

The government had deputed 261 medical teams in the flood-hit areas and distributed so far five ton of food packets in the marooned areas.

The state government had submitted a memorandum to the Centre seeking an assistance of Rs 2454.35 crore to carry out the relief and reconstruction work. The government had also demanded to declare the unprecedented flood as national disaster and sought an immediate assistance of Rs 1500 crore.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who made an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of coastal Orissa yesterday, had announced an adhoc assistance of Rs 500 crore to the state.


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