Orissa urges Jharkhand to regulate water release

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Bhubaneswar: Works Secretary S K Ray said vast stretches of national highways connecting Panikoili to Keonjhar, Keonjhar to Jashipur and Kamakhyanagar to Bhubana were inundated paralysing vehicular movement.

Several state highways in Bhadrak, Keonjhar, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Kendrapara and Mayurbhanj were also submerged in many places, throwing traffic out of gear.

A total 400 villages in Jajpur district were marooned, 135 villages in Bhadrak district, 98 villages in Kendrapara district and 66 villages in Mayurbhanj district.

As air-dropping was the only way to reach food material to the people, Mohapatra said the state government had requested the Defence Ministry to provide four helicopters for the purpose.

The Centre today agreed to send a Chetak chopper for relief and rescue operation. "We will start air-dropping of food material from tomorrow morning," he said.

With a large number of people trapped, Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), National Disaster Response Force and fire service personnel were deployed for search and rescue operation.

ODRAF has rescued 60 people trapped on the roof top of a house in Mathura village in Korei block of Jajpur district.

A sub-team of the inter-ministerial Central team will visit the state from Monday for assessment of damages and loss due to floods in Mahanadi river system, he said, adding that it would visit Sambalpur, Bargarh and Subarnapur.

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