Bhubaneswar: The toll in the current spell of Odisha flood rose to 27 today, even as the state government intensified relief operation in over 1,100 marooned villages.
Special Relief Commissioner PK Mohapatra said the toll which stood at 20 last night, mounted to 27 after Revenue and Disaster Management minister SN Patro reviewed the situation at a meeting.
A maximum of seven casualties were reported in Jajpur district followed by six in Bhadrak district, the SRC said.
Over 22 lakh people were affected in the second spell of flood in Brahmani, Baitarani, Subarnarekha, Budhabalang and their tributaries, he said.
The toll in the first spell of flood this year in the Mahanadi river system was 41, Mohapatra said.
Meanwhile, with the flood water receding fast in swollen Brahmani and other rivers, the Odisha government today intensified relief operation in the marooned areas.
The people in the marooned villages will be given cooked food till water completely recedes from their villages, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.
The Odisha government also withdrew two choppers from air-dropping food items as most of the 588 marooned villages of Jajpur were accessible by boats, the SRC said.
Two Navy choppers were also sent back, he said.
The chief minister visited the flood affected areas of Sambalpur and Subarnapur today while the central team comprising four members from Road Transport and Highways, Agriculture, Health and Water Resources ministries toured devastated areas in western Odisha.
So far, 37.016 quintal of rice, 3,144 quintal of parched rice and 148 quintal of molasses were distributed among the flood-hit people, the SRC said.
While 1,73,337 people had been provided free food in 542 free kitchens after their evacuation, the state government was now focusing on Jajpur and Kendrapara districts.
Though water level in the worst-hit Bari block of Jajpur district receded by one foot, the situation remained grim in Aul, Rajnagar, Rajkanika and Pattamundai areas of Kendrapara district located in the lower catchment area of river Brahmani.
"Though water level is not rising in Kendrapara district, the flood situation remained grave as water discharge is very slow due to new moon day," the minister said.
Meanwhile, the chief minister demanded 2,400 kilo litre additional kerosene due to the flood. In a letter to Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Jaipal Reddy, Patnaik said the requirement of more kerosene was being felt in flood affected districts.
Besides personnel of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), the government deployed members of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire brigade in rescue and search operation, he said.