Orissa flood: Toll 38, relief operation begins

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 19:22

Bhubaneswar: With 11 more deaths, the
toll in the second spell of Orissa flood mounted to 38 on Wednesday
as the government began post-relief reconstruction work and
decided to continue air-dropping of food articles till
tomorrow.

Certain pockets in Jajpur and Kendrapara districts
still remained marooned though flood water receded in major
rivers in north Orissa, giving respite to the affected people.
Flood water level receded by five to six feet at several
places as discharge into the sea was apparently facilitated
after new moon day yesterday.

The death toll due to flood which stood at 27 last night,
rose to 38 as the government received reports about 11 more
casualties, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N
Patro said, adding three more persons were missing.

Nine casualties each were reported in Jajpur and Bhadrak
districts, followed by six deaths in Kendrapara, four each in
Keonjhar and Sundargarh, three in Balasore, two in Dhenkanal
and one in Mayurbhanj.

In view of the prevailing situation, helicopters
continued air-dropping of food packets in Rajkanika and Aul
areas of Kendrapara district and Bari block of Jajpur, Special
Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Mohaptra said.

The government has decided to continue air-dropping of
food in these three areas tomorrow also, he said, adding
tractors and boats were being used for distribution of relief
materials in a large number of flood-affected areas.

With gradual improvement of the situation, post-relief
operation like repair of roads and tubewells, healthcare,
sanitation and disinfection of drinking water sources were
being looked into.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who visited areas like
Aul, Rajkanika, Bari and Bhandaripokhari, said assistance for
rabi crops would be provided to farmers in view of huge crop
loss due to floods.
Necessary assistance would be provided to the people
for reconstruction work, the chief minister said adding he
witnessed damage caused to houses and other structures as well
as crops during his tour of different places.

While arrangements were made for sending health teams
to flood affected areas, NCC and NSS volunteers were asked to
focus on healthcare and sanitation, the SRC said adding NGOs
would also be involved in post-relief works.

The focus now would be supply of safe drinking water
and vaccination in the flood-hit areas.

As many 622 free kitchens were operating in different
places where over 2.19 lakh people were provided with food,
official sources said adding five jumbo-size Air Force
choppers made about 16 sorties dropping dood packets.

Twenty out of the 30 districts of the state were
affected by successive floods in both Mahanadi river system as
well as rivers like Brahmani, Baitarani, Budhabalang and
Subarnarekha, sources said.

The chief minister has issued instruction for
providing cooked food to people in marooned areas till water
completely recedes from their villages.

Besides NDRF personnel, the government has deployed
Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire brigade in
rescue and search operation, he said.

The four-member central team had already visited
several flood affected areas in coastal and western Orissa
since Monday.

Some other members of the central team led by Joint
Secretary of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, O P Mahey are
reaching here today for on-the-spot assessment in districts
like Puri and Jagatsinghpur.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 19:22

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