Odisha floods: Death toll goes up to 45, 4.8 lakh marooned

Bhubaneswar: Death toll due to floods in Odisha climbed to 45 and number of people affected by the deluge to over 32.9 lakh today as the situation improved gradually with receding water level in many areas. Water level in almost all rivers including Mahanadi dropped considerably amid signs of improvement in the flood situation in different areas, Deputy Relief Commissioner Prabhat Ranjan Mohapatra said.

However, more than 4.8 lakh people in over 460 villages were still left marooned in the delta region of Mahanadi river system, while many areas were still submerged by flood water of Baitarani river, he said. Different parts of the state, mainly northern region, were lashed by rain under the influence of a low perssure but the intensity was low and the weather is unlikely to aggravate the flood scenario, said a senior official in the office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC).

Rain and thundershower would occur at many places over Odisha during next 24 hours and heavy rainfall was expected at one or two places in interior parts, the meteorological centre here said. The number of people affected by the flood mounted to over 32.9 lakh from around 28.58 lakh estimated yesterday, the SRC office said, adding, the number of flood-hit villages also climbed up to 5,313 located in 134 blocks in 1,381 gram panchayats spread over 23 districts.

 Odisha floods: Death toll goes up to 45, 4.8 lakh marooned

Submerged areas in Odisha. AFP.

The death toll in floods and heavy rains in different parts of the state climbed to 45, eight more from yesterday's 37, SRC office said. The highest number of casualties occured in Bargarh district, followed by Mayurbhanj district. Flood deaths were also reported in Bhadrak and Sambalpur, it said, adding, deaths were mainly caused by drowning in swirling waters and wall collapse.

Over 1.19 lakh people were still sheltered on river embankments and other high places for whom 168 free kitchens are operating to provide cooked food, it said, adding, number of such people was high in Cuttack and Puri districts. While 39 breaches have occurred at different places, as many as 165 wards in 27 urban local bodies areas have also been affected in flood and heavy rains, it said, adding, around 30,000 houses were damaged in the floods.

With water level gradually dropping in Hirakud reservoir on Mahanadi river, 22 sluice gates were now kept open for discharge of excess water as against 50 gates opened for the purpose two days ago, it said. Flow of water in Mahanadi river through Mundali barrage has come down to about 7 lakh cusec from around 11.4 lakh cusec two days ago, SRC office sources said.

Despite recession of water, many areas remained inundated in the delta zone of Mahanadi river system as the state government stepped up relief operation, it said, adding, the situation in several areas of Kendrapara and Puri district remained grim.

PTI

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Updated Date: Aug 11, 2014 10:46:21 IST