Orissa flood: Toll 38, relief operation begins
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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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