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Choppers fail to drop food packets in flood hit areas

Bhubaneswar: Orissa government today sent boats with relief materials after helicopters failed to drop food packs to flood-affected people in Jajpur district due to paucity of dry land even as a central team arrived here to assess the damage caused in Mahanadi floods.

"Air-dropping of food items was not possible in Bari block of Jajpur district as the entire area has been submerged in flood water," Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro told reporters after reviewing the flood situation.

Though water level in Baitarani, Subarnarekha, Budhabalang and their tributaries was falling, river Brahmani had been on spate, he said adding the flood water of Brahmani had completely submerged Bari block and many places of Rajnagar, Pattamundai and Aul blocks in Kendrapara district.

"At least five choppers are engaged in dropping food packets in other flood-hit areas," Patro said. Besides, he also claimed that above 460 boats were engaged in the operations, he said.

With the government unable to drop food packets from helicopters, reports of people starving was received from Jajpur and Kendrapara districts.

A central team, comprising four members from ministries of Road Transport and Highways, Agriculture, Health and Water Resources arrived here to assess flood damage.

"Though the team is to assess damage due to the first spell floods in Mahanadi system, we will take them to Jajpur district for review of the situation," said Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Mohapatra adding the team will visit three western districts tomorrow.


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