Orissa floods: Air-dropping to continue, 27 die

Orissa government decided to continue air-dropping of food packets in marooned villages as part of relief and rescue.

Bhubaneswar: Orissa government on Tuesday
decided to continue air-dropping of food packets in marooned
villages as part of relief and rescue operation amid slight
respite from flood fury which claimed 27 lives.

While flood water receded in all the rivers in north
Orissa, Brahmani continued to pose threat to certain pockets
in Jajpur, Bhadrak and Kendrapara districts.
"There is slow discharge of water to the sea due to
new moon day," said Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S
N Patro.

Toll due to flood which stood at 20 last night, rose
to 27 as different collectors confirmed seven more deaths,
said SRC P K Mohapatra. Three more persons were missing, he

Maximum seven casualties were reported in Jajpur
district followed by six deaths in Bhadrak district, the SRC

Considering the situation and condition of marooned
people, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed continuation of
air-dropping of food items, said Special Relief Commissioner P
K Mohapatra adding officials had been instructed to ensure
that relief materials reached every marooned village.

The government withdrew two choppers from air-dropping
of food items as most of the 588 marooned villages of Jajpur
were accessible by boats. "Now five jumbo-size Air Force
choppers are engaged for air-dropping," the SRC said.

While seven choppers were pressed into service of
air-dropping food packets in marooned villages yesterday, two
copters of Navy were sent back.
Besides helicopters, over 460 boats and about 700
personnel has been engaged in the rescue and relief operation.

An estimated 22 lakh people were affected by the second
spell of flood in Brahmani, Baitarani, Subarnarekha,
Budhabalang rivers and their tributaries.

The government has decided to expedite relief operation
as the water has receded.

While 1.75 lakh people had been provided food at 542
community kitchens after their evacuation, the state
government is now focussing on Jajpur and Kendrapara

The people in marooned villages will be given cooked food
till water completely recedes from their villages, Chief
Minister Naveen Patnaik said.

The chief minister demanded 2,400 kilo litre of
additional kerosene from the Centre due to flood. In a letter
to Union Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy, Patnaik said that
requirement of more kerosene is felt in flood-affected

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

Patnaik today visited flood-affected areas of Sambalpur
and Subarnapur while the central team comprising four members
from Road Transport and Highways, Agriculture, Health and
Water Resources ministries toured devastated areas in western

"Damage due to flood was enormous," said A K Satpathy,
one of the central team members, after visiting Sambalpur

Some other members of the central team led by Joint
Secretary of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, O P Mahey are
scheduled to reach here tomorrow.


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