Bhubaneswar: With more than 2.5 lakh people marooned in Balasore in floods triggered by heavy rains in the aftermath of Cyclone Phailin, Odisha government on Monday deployed the armed forces besides NDRF teams for rescue and relief operations.
"Army, Navy, Air Force and NDRF have been deployed in the flood-hit areas of the state. We are starting air-dropping of food packets in Balasore district immediately ... The flood situation in the district is a cause of concern," state Revenue and Disaster Management Minister SN Patro said.
Odisha Special Relief Commissioner PK Mohapatra said the flood situation in Balalsore district was "critical" with flood waters of Budhabalang River inundating villages in Remuna, Balasore sadar, Jaleswar and Bhograi blocks.
Revenue divisional commissioner(RDC) of central division Arabind Padhee has rushed to Balasore to take control over rescue and relief operation in Balasore.
Patro said besides flooding the four blocks in Balasore, Budhabalang has also inundated 10 blocks in neighbouring Mayurbhanj district. Besides Baripada, the district headquarter town of Mayurbhanj, Betanati and Badasahi blocks have been severly hit in the flood.
Besides, flood waters of Baitarani river has affected Korei, Jajpur and Dasrathpur blocks in Jajpur district.
However, the flood water in Baripada town has receded. Water level in Baitarani river is also receding which could reduce the intensity of flood in Jajpur district, he said.
"We have launched joint operation with the state government in flood-hit areas. At least 450 army personnel along with boats and other logistics have reached the spot. We have some more army men in reserve," a senior navy officer, who attended a flood review meeting here, said.
The army men were being deployed in the flood-hit areas as per the request of the state government. "Three teams of divers of INS Chilika will participate in the rescue operation in Balasore," he said.
Brigadier Balaraj Mehta said the army was working in tandem with the state government in relief and rescue work.
(With Agencies Inputs)