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Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today reviewed the flood situation in three districts triggered by heavy rain under the impact of the very severe cyclonic storm Titli that made landfall at Palasa in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday morning.

Patnaik through video conferencing talked to the collectors of three districts Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada, which are the worst affected regions post the cyclone.

The CM after reviewing the situation asked the concerned district Collectors to expedite rescue operations and provide cooked food to the affected people for the next 7 days. He also directed to focus on early restoration of power supply and emergency services.

The Chief Minister has also asked the collectors to submit crop and house damage assessment reports within seven days.

Even though the very severe cyclonic storm Titli failed to cause major damages in the State, the incessant rain since Thursday has triggered flood in Rushikulya, Bada and Bahuda rivers.

As a result, many areas including Aska and Purushottampur towns in Ganjam district have remained marooned under water.

“A total of 14 NDRF and 12 ODRF teams have been deployed for rescue operation. Six teams each of NDRF and ODRF has been engaged in Gajapati district while four each have been deployed in Ganjam and one each in Rayagada district” informed Chief Secretary Aditya Padhi after the review meeting.

“As floodwater has marooned Aska and Purushottampur in Ganjam district, we requested the officials of Navy to carry out the rescue operation in the towns. Besides, we have also requested the concerned authorities to send two helicopters from Visakhapatnam for rescue and relief operations in the areas,” added Padhi.

Padhi further stated, “Efforts are on to restore power supply in areas of Ganjam district except Aska and Purushottampur within 48 hours.”

Similarly, road and electricity restoration work were also in full swing in the Gajapati and Rayagada districts.

Reacting to casualty reports, the Chief Secretary said: "We have seen media reports of the deaths of two or three persons in these districts. We are verifying it."

In the meantime, Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi today informed that the Cyclone Titli is presently laying centered at some 30 km of northeast of Kandhamal and between Angul districts. It is expected to cross Odisha by evening today due to which heavy rainfall is likely in coastal and interior parts of the State including Mayurbhanj district.

“Two blocks have received more than 300 mm rainfall during the last 24 hours. G.Udaygiri in Kandhamal district recorded the highest 351 mm rainfall followed by 319 mm of rainfall in Kantapada of Cuttack district. As many as 16 blocks of the State received rainfall between 200-300 mm while 60 blocks have experienced 100-200 mm rainfall.” Sethi informed.

The water of Rushikulya River is flowing above danger mark in Aska, Sorada and Janabili. Similarly, the water level of Bada River near Gallery, Nuagaon, Madhababarida, Bhanjanagar and Aska has also crossed danger mark and Bahuda River in Kabisuryanagar is flowing above its danger level, reports said.

Many people have remained stranded in Aska as water was flowing at a height of 7-8 feet in the town. At least 193 inmates of Aska jail have been shifted to the first floor and kitchen rooms of the jail after the main gate of the jail got damaged due to the flood water, added reports.

The State government has decided to airdrop relief materials in the affected areas tomorrow with the help of two IAF helicopters.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said the CM is scheduled to conduct an aerial survey of Cyclone Titli-affected districts at 11 am tomorrow.

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