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Water recedes, rescue efforts increase

Bhubaneswar: With flood waters of Mahanadi River system slowly receding in the delta region, Orissa government today accelerated relief work in the affected areas with focus on health care, sanitation and supply of safe drinking water.

As discharge of water from Hirakud Dam was drastically cut to about 1.07 lakh cusec following reduced inflow into the reservoir, water level in Mahanadi delta region started falling though vast areas still remain submerged, official sources said here.

The situation has improved in many areas of coastal Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri, Khurda, Jajpur and Nayagarh districts as release of water into the sea was facilitated, they said.

The floods have affected 14 lakh people in 19 of the 30 districts of the state. 17 people died in the floods and 11 are missing. Steps have been initiated for immediate restoration of road communication to enable relief teams to reach the affected people, they said.

At the same time, air dropping of food and other essentials continued in most of the 1,100 marooned villages in worst-hit Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Puri districts with the help of four helicopters.

The health department rushed medical teams to districts like Kendrapara and Puri with medicines, halogen tablets, ORS packets and anti-venom injections, a senior official said, adding efforts were on to prevent outbreak of water-borne diseases.

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