Bhubaneswar: Affirming that miseries of people in flood-hit areas have compounded due to water receding slowly from villages, the Odisha government on Monday rushed health teams, stepped up disinfection and relief activities as the death toll due to floods stood at 45.
"Though water level has receded in almost all rivers, there is no respite from miseries in flood-hit areas," special relief commissioner (SRC) P K Mohapatra told reporters after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chief Secretary G C Pati separately reviewed flood situations in the state.
Stating that water release had slowed down since yesterday, the SRC said "As many as 2,90,158 people in 294 villages remained marooned since floods hit the state last week."
The highest number of people marooned were in 114 villages of Kendrapara district followed by 112 villages in Puri district, Mohapatra said adding water level in all rivers have receded, but not substantially in the villages.
While the recent floods have hit 33.5 lakh people in 23 districts, as many as 31,930 houses have been damaged in the calamity according to the preliminary estimation made by the state government.
Apprehending outbreak of epidemic after clearance of water from villages, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked officials to disinfect all tubewells and other water sources used for drinking purposes.
Patnaik also directed the officials to ensure supply of safe drinking water to the people marooned in different villages.
Health teams have been rushed to the marooned villages,
said Mohapatra, who is also the secretary of health and family welfare department.
The Chief Minister also asked the departments of water resources, rural development and works to repair 38 breaches in river embankments due to the floods.
"The breaches must be repaired on war footing," state revenue and disaster management minister Bijayshree Routray said, adding, as the IMD has predicted another spell of low pressure, the breaches should be repaired before that.
Of the total 45 deaths in the floods, highest number of casualties occurred in Bargarh district, followed by Mayurbhanj district. Deaths were also reported from Bhadrak and Sambalpur, an official release said adding, the casualties were mainly due to drowning in swirling waters and wall collapse.
An IMD bulletin said a low pressure area over south Bihar and nearby regions could cause rainfall at one or two places over Odisha in the next one day.