The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rain plays relief rogue

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 26: The flood situation continued to be grim in the six northern districts of the state as relief and rescue operations were hampered in many areas today due to fresh downpour.

S.C. Sahoo, the director of the Met office here, said a cyclonic circulation over northern Orissa triggered the downpour today.

There is a possibility of rain or thundershower at many places in coastal Orissa and few places in interior Orissa in the next 24 hours.

According to information from the state disaster management control room, heavy rain lashed coastal Orissa, triggering fresh flood fear on the banks of Subernarekha, Budhabalanga, Salandi and Baitarani.

More than 15 lakh people were affected by the flood and heavy rain, said state disaster management minister Manmohan Samal, who visited the flood-hit Mayurbhanj district today. Samal had reviewed the situation in Bhadrak and Balasore district yesterday and had asked officials to ensure that relief material reached all those marooned.

Bhadrak collector N.K. Burma told The Telegraph over phone that more than 1,000 marooned people were evacuated and assured that there was no threat to the life of residents of the town.

Several parts of Bhadrak town were under the flooding waters of Salandi river, flowing above the danger-mark following release of water from Hadagarh reservoir.

Some other parts of the district have also been inundated by water of Baitarani and its tributaries, said Burma, adding that over 4 lakh people had been affected by the flood.

As relief material failed to reach many areas in Balasore, Bhadrak and Kendrapara districts due to inadequate deployment of boats, steps have been taken to airdrop food, medicines and clothes, sources said.

In Jajpur district alone, crops on 19,284 hectares of land were damaged.

Special relief commissioner N.K. Sundaray said the flood situation continued to be grim in Balasore and Bhadrak districts.

A high-level official team, headed by the deputy relief commissioner, has been deputed to Balasore to oversee the relief operations.

More than 27 power boats have been pressed into service for relief and rescue operations and Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force personnel had been mobilised for the purpose, said Sundaray.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had undertaken an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Balasore, Bhadrak and Jajpur districts yesterday.

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