Bhubaneswar, July 8: The flood situation in north Orissa districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Keonjhar, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj continued to be grim with more than 9 lakh people barely surviving out of homes.
The situation worsened in Bhadrak, as vast areas of Dhamnagar, Bhandaripokhari and Chandbali blocks were inundated by the Baitarini, Jalaka, Kochila and Genguti.
So far, two flood-related deaths have been reported. While 55-year-old Madan Das drowned in Dhamnagar, a boy was swept away by in Anandpur area in Keonjhar district.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who undertook an aerial survey of flood-hit areas in Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj and Jajpur districts and took up a review at Balasore, described the situation “grave, but under control”.
He said the administration was on full alert and rescue/relief operation was going on war footing. Air dropping of food packets in the flood-affected areas started today. Naveen announced that emergent relief would be provided to the marooned people for seven days. A relief of Rs 50,000 would be paid to next of the kin of each flood victim within 48 hours of death, the government said. Besides, enumeration and payment of house building assistance to people whose houses had been damaged by the deluge within 15 days.
State disaster mitigation minister Manmohan Samal, who accompanied Naveen, said the rescue and relief operation was going on full swing. More than 100 country and motor boats were pressed into service. Eight medical teams were deputed to flood-affected areas, he said. A provision has been made for providing safe drinking water to the marooned people, while contaminated water sources were being disinfected. Already around 150 tube-wells had been disinfected. Relief materials and cattle feed had reached the flood affected areas, Smal said.
Samal added that around 9 lakh people had been affected by the flood as per the preliminary report. According to officials of the state revenue and disaster mitigation department, Balasore has been the worst hit with more than 5.59 lakh people living in 1,101 villages in four blocks having affected. As per the estimate, crops in 3,776 hectares have been damaged.
Similarly, in Bhadrak district, an estimated of 1.57 lakh people in 127 villages in Dhamnagar and Bhandaripokhari blocks have been affected. There have been two breaches on the embankments of the Kochila and Genguti at Arjunpur and Korada, respectively. Road communication has been cut off at several places, including Kothar and Dobal in Dhamnagar block on Bhadrak-Aradi road. Several parts of Dhamnagar, Bhandaripokahri and Tihidi blocks are now facing alarming situation with water of the Baitarini and its tributaries inundating vast areas. The Opposition has lambasted the state government for its failure to tackle the situation.