Situation grim in Odisha's flood-hit pockets

Situation grim in Odisha's flood-hit pockets

Though the overall flood situation in Odisha is slowly improving, the condition of some flood-hit pockets, including the two coastal districts of Puri and Kendrapara, remains grim.

Fresh areas in Puri were inundated by floodwaters late on Thursday night due to a 100-foot-long breach on the embankment of the Daya river near Jorakara village under Delang block of the district. 

Because of the breach, nearly 30,000 people in about 20 villages in the two blocks of Delang and Kanasa in the Puri district, as well as Jatni block in the neighbouring district of Khurda, have been affected afresh.

“The breach occurred around 11 pm, when most of the villagers were sleeping. However, a few youths of the village, who were keeping a watch on the embankment, alerted the villagers immediately (after the breach), who ran to safer places, mostly to rooftops of concrete houses in the village as well as to a state highway nearby,” said Jorakara-resident Ambuja Bhuiyan.

More than 150 villages have been affected so far by floods in Puri district alone. The population affected in the district stood at more than 1 lakh on Friday evening. The coastal district is one of the worst-affected in the eastern state.

Puri District Collector Dhiren Patnaik, who visited the fresh flood-hit areas on Friday morning, said relief had immediately been sent to affected villagers. “The affected villagers are being provided food and other relief materials. Officers are engaged in supervising the relief distribution work,” he said.

The situation in two other districts—Bhadrak in north Odisha and Jajpur in coastal Odisha—which were also hit hard by the floods, has improved. Both districts had been battered by the flooding of the Salandi and Baitarani rivers, respectively.

Meanwhile, according to latest figures released by the office of the special relief commissioner, the total number of people affected by floods in 23 out of 30 districts in the state has gone up from 17,88,026 on Thursday to 24,28,026 by Friday evening. 

Similarly, the death toll in the calamity has gone up from 35 to 37. However, with water levels falling in different rivers, the total number of marooned villages has gone down from 830 to 281. 

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