Orissa flood: 17 dead, 21 lakh hit in 10 districts

Orissa flood

Orissa continued to reel under one of the worst floods in recent memory, as rising floodwater in 3,128 villages across 10 districts claimed 17 lives, while affecting more than 21.6 lakh people.

The floods in Baitarani, Brahmani, Budhabalanga and Subarnarekha river systems, which came less than a week after the massive floods in Mahanadi river system, have marooned over 1,100 villages, mostly in Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Keonjhar districts. Though water-levels in Baitarani came down, Brahmani continued to rise menacingly. The flood in Mahanadi river system in the second week of September affected 3.4 million people in 19 districts, causing a loss of Rs 2,122 crore to the State.

Officials at the State Emergency Centre said that during the last 48 hours, five choppers from Air Force, Navy and the State's own choppers have air-dropped 9,009 food packets worth 360 quintals in marooned villages of Bhadrak, Jajpur, Keonjhar and Kendrapara. Besides, 10 teams of NDRF (307 men with 60 boats and other accessories) have been deployed for the rescue and relief operations. These teams have already started evacuating the marooned people to safer places.

Dhamnagar block in Bhadrak, Bari block in Jajpur district, Rajnagar, Aul and Rajkanika blocks in Kendrapara district have been severely hit, as all communication channels to these pockets had been disrupted.

Officials said the Central team that would reach Orissa on Monday to assess the damage.

Antony asks IAF to provide full support

Defence Minister A K Antony has asked the Indian Air Force (IAF) to provide full support to Orissa government's requirement for deployment of choppers in flood relief operations in the state.

"The Defence Minister asked the IAF to provide full support to the state government's requirement for helicopters to provide relief to the affected people," Defence Ministry officials said here on Sunday. The IAF has already deployed seven Mi-17 choppers along with Navy's Seaking and Cheetah helicopters for the relief operations, they said.

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