With all eyes now on the deep depression, a new menace has gripped flood-affected victims in several districts of Odisha. People reeling under flood are now under constant fear of poisonous snakes, other reptiles and scorpion attacks.
Poisonous snakes can be found inside kitchens or bedrooms in submerged homes. As half of Odisha is battling the floods, at least five cases of snakebites have been reported, SRC Pradeep Jena informed.
“There is fear of more rainfall in the coming days due to the deep depression. We cannot ignore incidents like snakebites and scorpion attacks. Steps are being taken to avoid any such,” Jena said.
Earlier, a huge python was rescued after it was caught in a fishing net at Gadaharishpur village under Erasama block in Jagatsinghpur district. Similarly, there was another snake incident reported from Banki area.
Not just Erasama and Banki, poisonous snakes were spotted in floodwaters at Ayatpur village under Marshaghai block in Kendrapara district. People have been displaced and given shelter in relief camps.
Meanwhile, glut of snakes, scorpions and other insects were reported to have moved into people's homes. Returning residents are being urged to sift through their belongings using a stick. They are advised to be careful while entering their house.
“Snakes are entering our houses. We have caught many of them recently. We have no option left but to live among these venomous reptiles,” said a flood victim from Khordha district.
“People have complained of minor ailments like cough, fever and body ache etc in relief camps. At least 5,500 people have been provided treatment. Moreover, there were five snakebite incidents reported. But, the victims have been treated,” SRC Jena informed.
Speaking on the snake menace, health specialist Dr. Mrutunjay Mahapatra said, “We advise people to come to the hospital immediately after a snakebite instead of approaching quacks and local healers."
"Approach the ODRAF and NDRAF teams and come to the hospital immediately. Do not swim in the floodwater because the poison spreads after coming in contact with water," said Mohapatra.