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After cyclone, Odisha faces flood


Bhubaneswar, Oct 14:

Heavy rains caused by cyclone Phailin triggered floods in major rivers in five districts of Odisha on Monday with over 2.5 lakh people marooned in worst-hit Baleswar as the twin calamity affected over 1.2 crore people and the death toll has risen to 25.

The death toll in the impact of the cyclone has risen to 25 with four people being killed in the floods in Mayurbanj and Bhadrak districts. Phailin, which claimed 21 lives, has dissipated but the heavy rains and floods in its aftermath is a cause of concern, revenue and disaster management minister SN Patro said.

Apart from Baleswar, four other districts – Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Keonjhar came under the surging flood waters as major rivers like Subarnarekha, Budhabalanga, Baitarani and Jalaka were in spate, Patro said.

The twin calamity of cyclone and the resultant floods affected over 1.2 crore people in the state as more than 10.13 lakh people were evacuated to safe places, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Mohapatra said.

Teams from the Army, Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF) besides National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) were deployed for rescue and relief operations in the flood-affected areas in the state while air-dropping of food packets was launched in Baleswar where 7.1 lakh people were affected by floods, the SRC said.

Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Central), Aravind Padhee, who is camping in Baleswar to monitor relief work, said as many as 930 villages in 12 blocks were affected by floods in the district.

He said the flood situation in Baleswar district was ‘critical’ with flood waters of Budhabalanga river inundating villages in Remuna, Baleswar sadar, Jaleswar and Bhograi blocks.

Patro said besides flooding many areas in Baleswar, Budhabalanga has also inundated 10 blocks in neighbouring Mayurbhanj district.

Besides Baripada, the district headquarter town of Mayurbhanj, Betanati and Badasahi blocks have been severely hit in the floods, he added. (PTI)