2.5 lakh marooned in Balasore, relief and rescue on

2.5 lakh marooned in Balasore, relief and rescue on

With more than 2.5 lakh people marooned in Balasore in floods triggered by heavy rains in the aftermath of Cyclone Phailin, Odisha government today deployed the armed forces besides NDRF teams for rescue and relief operations.

"Army, Navy, Air Force and NDRF have been deployed in the flood-hit areas of the state. We are starting air-dropping of food packets in Balasore district immediately ... The flood situation in the district is a cause of concern," state Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro said.

Odisha Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra said the flood situation in Balalsore district was "critical" with flood waters of Budhabalang River inundating villages in Remuna, Balasore sadar, Jaleswar and Bhograi blocks.

Revenue divisional commissioner(RDC) of central division Arabind Padhee has rushed to Balasore to take control over rescue and relief operation in Balasore.

Patro said besides flooding the four blocks in Balasore, Budhabalang has also inundated 10 blocks in neighbouring Mayurbhanj district. Besides Baripada, the district headquarter town of Mayurbhanj, Betanati and Badasahi blocks have been severly hit in the flood.

Besides, flood waters of Baitarani river has affected Korei, Jajpur and Dasrathpur blocks in Jajpur district.

However, the flood water in Baripada town has receded. Water level in Baitarani river is also receding which could reduce the intensity of flood in Jajpur district, he said."We have launched joint operation with the state government in flood-hit areas. At least 450 army personnel along with boats and other logistics have reached the spot. We have some more army men in reserve," a senior navy officer, who attended a flood review meeting here, said.

The army men were being deployed in the flood-hit areas as per the request of the state government. "Three teams of divers of INS Chilika will participate in the rescue operation in Balasore," he said.

Brigadier Balaraj Mehta said the army was working in tandem with the state government in relief and rescue work.

The state Revenue and Disaster Management Minister said the flood waters have also submerged Basudevpur, Dhamnagar and Chandbali blocks in Bhadrak district.

Describing the Odisha flood situation as grim, specially in Balasore, Mohapatra said the water level in Budhabalanga river has risen to 9.24 m against the red mark of 8.13 m at Gobindpur near NH five.

Subarnarekha river was now flowing at 11.7 m against the danger level of 10.36 meter at Rajghat near Jaleswar, he said adding 39 panchayats in four blocks of Balasore were in the grip of flood.

It is apprehended that Budhabalanga river might rise further in Balasore in view of heavy rains in the catchment areas, official sources said.

Jalaka river was flowing at 6.73 meters against its danger level of 5.50 at Basta. Small rivers like Sona, Gangahar, Kansa and Bausa were also in spate in Balasore district, they said.

Roads between Basta and Baliapal and Balasore and Jaleswar were submerged  and three feet of water was flowing on the roads.

Flood fury also loomed over Ganjam district, the worst hit by Cyclone 'Phailin'.
Rivers Rushikulya and Badanadi had crossed danger level at Aska, 40 km from here, this morning though there is no report of any loss.

"The water level of both the rivers is likely to recede by this evening", said R N Swain, chief engineer-cum-basin manager of Rushikulya, Bansadhara and Nagabali rivers.

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