Members of the National Disaster Response Force arrive in Ganjam on Friday to carry out relief operations. Picture by Gopal Krishna Reddy
Bhubaneswar, Oct. 25: Rain-induced floods continue to wreak havoc in Ganjam and six other coastal districts, which have borne the brunt of Phailin two weeks ago.
Eleven deaths have been reported from various parts of the state. More than two lakh people have remained marooned in Ganjam. Three Indian Air Force helicopters were pressed into service for rescue operations.
Special relief commissioner P.K. Mohapatra said: “Two choppers have been engaged in rescue operations, one helicopter ready at Biju Patnaik Airport. The marooned people, who have taken shelter at higher places, need not panic.”
He said the Ganjam situation was worse. But the Gajapati plight was under control. There was no chance of floods in the Mahanadi, Subarnarekha and Budhabalanag river system that affect western, northern and coastal districts.
So far, seven deaths have been reported from Ganjam. Four persons drowned and three died in wall collapse. Four others, including a three-month-old baby, all belonging to one family perished in Jagatsinghpur district when the wall of their house collapsed.
All schools and colleges in the 13 flood-affected districts will remain closed tomorrow.
Rain has taken a toll on the drainage system of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
Heavy rainfall disrupted train services between Khurda Road and Vizianagaram in Howrah-Chennai as flood water is flowing over tracks and railway bridges.
More than 5.36 lakh people at 2,276 villages of seven coastal districts have been hit hard. “We have been without food for the past two days,” said Sanatan Maharana, 56, of Hinjilicut.
Former Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranajan Patnaik said: “People are finding it hard to cope as the government has failed to provide them relief.”
Revenue and disaster management minister Surjya Narayan Patro said: “Thousands of people remain marooned in Aska, Sorada, Hinjili, Sergarh, Belgnutha and Rangelunda blocks.”
Director of the regional meteorology centre Sarat Chandra Sahu said though rain was continuing in the south and other coastal districts, its intensity had come down. “The depression in the Bay of Bengal on Andhra coast is likely to move towards Karnataka and will weaken further,” he said.