Bhubaneswar: With 877 villages completely
cut off from rest of the state due to high flood in Mahanadi
river system, Orissa government on Sunday began air-dropping of
food packets in worst hit areas as the death toll rose to 16,
official sources said.
"As of now three sorties were made to most affected
areas of Gop, Delang/Kanas in Puri district and Kujang in
Jagatsinghpur," Revenue and Disaster Management minister S N
Patro told reporters after making an aerial survey of flood
hit areas along with chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
Three choppers, two from Navy and one from Ministry of
Home affairs, were engaged in dropping food packets as the
district administration failed to reach the affected people
due to snapping of road links. "One more Navy chopper will
join in air-dropping tomorrow," the minister said.
Fifteen quintals of dry and cooked food could be
dropped from choppers today, he said adding 97,117 people were
evacuated from low lying areas to safe places and given food
as 186 relief camps/free kitchens were opened, he said.
At least 16 persons, five from Jajpur district, three
each from Kendrapara and Mayurbhanj districts, two each from
Dhenkanal and Sambalpur district and one person in Bhadrak
district, died in the flood which affected 13.9 lakh people.
"There are reports of six persons being swept away in
Nayagarh and Bargarh district," said Special Relief
Commissioner P K Mohapatra.
The situation is likely to improve tomorrow as water-
level at Hirakud dam fell to 628.08 feet with reduced inflow
into the reservoir, Water Resources department secretary
Suresh Mohapatra said.
While 6,38,139 cusec of water was entering into the
reservoir, the outflow was recorded at 6.25,434 cusec.
Only 35 sluice gates were kept open to discharge water as
24 gates were closed. "Twelve more gates will be closed soon,"
Mohapatra said, adding that quantum of water flowing through
Munduli and Naraj also came down.
As the delta region experienced the peak flood of the
season during the last 24 hours, at least 22 breaches had been
seen at different places in Mahanadi river system inundating a
large number of villages and agricultural land.
"Gop town near Konark Temple was completely submerged due
to a major breach on Kushabadra river. Another major breach
was seen at Basantpur on left embankment of Daya river in the
Mahanadi system," Mohapatra said.
Following breaches and submergence of vast areas, several
roads including Cuttack-Banki, Choudwar-Athgarh, Sathipur-
Jajpur, Barchana-Balichandrapur, Tartol-Hansura, Rahama-
Khosalpur, Tirtol-Kolar and Tirtol-Posal roads were cut off,
The water level in other major rivers like Subarnarekha,
Budhabalang, Baitarani, Brahmani, Bansadhara and Rushikulya
However, the Subarnarekha is still flowing above danger
He, however, said that the flood fear would continue
for two more days as the river water could not be discharged
into the sea due to the full moon day tomorrow."
The water level in other major rivers like
Subarnarekha, Budhabalang, Baitarani, Brahmani, Bansadhara and
Rushikulya was falling. However, the Subarnarekha was still
flowing above danger level, the minister said.
The affected people would be given relief including
cooked food for seven days, he said.