Odisha floods kill 46, hit 3.5 million



The floods triggered by continuous rains have disrupted the lives of over 3.5 million people in 23 of Odisha's 30 districts with the number of deaths rising to 46, the authorities said Tuesday.

Many people continued to remain marooned even after flood water began to recede and all the rivers were flowing below the danger level, a senior revenue department official told IANS.

There has been almost no rain for the past two-three days. However 2,03,473 people in 209 villages are still surrounded by flood water, he said.

People have taken shelters on embankments, cyclone shelters, schools and other high rise structure, he said.

Relief efforts have been stepped up in all the flood affected areas including the worst hit Puri and Kendrapada district, the official said.

The number of relief camps which was 100 has came down to 55 by Tuesday evening as large number of people have returned to their homes.

The number of people who were getting food also came down to 62,000 by Tuesday evening from 80,000 in the morning, he said.

The situation is becoming normal and people will return to their homes gradually, he said.

The state government has confirmed one more death due to the floods taking the total number of rain-related mishap since July to 46, he said.

The Odisha government has confirmed the death of 30 more cattle, taking the toll to 124, the official said.

In the worst hit coastal districts, hundreds of people who have taken shelters on river embankments complained that they are yet to get relief, local television channels showed, an allegation the state government has denied.

"If one or two individuals say they have not received relief, I have nothing to say. I do not want to comment," said P.K. Mohapatra, special relief commissioner.

"People have been given relief materials. We are looking things at macro level. We have sufficient relief materials and their distribution is on," Mohapatra told IANS.

"They (people) should also know that they are part of disaster management process. They should have kept food for seven-10 days, because they know that they are living in an area which would be affected by such disaster," he added.

The floods in Odisha have damaged over 41,800 houses, destroyed crops over 3,50,928 hectares, officials said. - IANS