Rains add to woes of flood-hit people in Orissa

The state government ruled out any deterioration of the flood situation due to the rains.

Last Updated: Sep 14, 2011, 14:24 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Fresh rains triggered by a low
pressure compounded the plight of the marooned people in
flood-hit parts of Orissa on Wednesday besides hampering relief
operations.

The state government, however, ruled out any
deterioration of the flood situation due to the rains.

"Though several areas have been lashed by rains, it will
not lead to rise in river water level which is now receding,"
water resources secretary Suresh Mohapatra said.

However, people taking shelter under makeshift structures
on highways were affected as rains and thundershowers lashed
several areas of Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri and
Khurda districts since early hours, official sources said.

The low pressure induced rainfall affected relief work in
many coastal areas located in the Mahanadi delta region, they
said.

The focus in the state had now shifted to distribution of
relief and post-disaster operations in areas affected by the
devastating floods, which claimed at least 20 lives and
affected about 22 lakh people in around 4,000 villages spread
over 19 districts.

The meteorological department said rains were likely to
continue at many places in coastal Orissa till tomorrow with
possibility of heavy rain at a couple of places. Fishermen
were advised to be cautious while venturing into the sea.
Maintaining that the situation would be normal in flood
affected areas in a day or two, he said water flow at Munduli
near Cuttack had come down to five lakh cusec from about 13.6
lakh cusec. It would soon drop to 3 lakh cusec, he said.

Though water receded from most places, some pockets in
Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Cuttack, Nayagarh and Boudh
districts still remained cut off from the rest of the state, a
senior official said.

Around 1.57 lakh people had been evacuated from low-lying
areas and shifted to 275 relief camps, he said.

Officials were directed to undertake field visits to
ensure that safe drinking water, road connectivity, power
supply and other facilities were in place as soon as possible,
the sources said.

The state government has also taken steps for providing
polythene sheets to the flood-affected people while air
dropping of food materials continues.

Officials said emergency health care services were being
provided in the affected areas where around 400 medical relief
centres had started operating. About 110 mobile health units
were also deployed.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Prasanna Acharya said
the focus was on disinfecting the water sources in the flood
affected areas. Around 9,000 wells have been treated so far
and more water bodies would be disinfected soon.

Around 10 lakh halogen tablets and over 15,000 ORS
packets have been distributed so far, while over 12,000 people
have been treated for common ailments, sources said, adding
anti-venom injections were also made available to deal with
snake bite incidents.

PTI