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Air-dropping to continue in marooned villages

Bhubaneswar: The State government on Tuesday decided to continue air-dropping of food packets in marooned villages as part of relief and rescue operation amid slight respite from flood fury which claimed 27 lives.

While flood water receded in all the rivers in north Orissa, Brahmani continued to pose threat to certain pockets in Jajpur, Bhadrak and Kendrapara districts.

"There is slow discharge of water to the sea due to new moon day," said revenue and disaster management minister S N Patro.

Toll due to flood which stood at 20 last night, rose to 27 as different collectors confirmed seven more deaths, said SRC P K Mohapatra. Three more persons were missing, he said.

Maximum seven casualties were reported in Jajpur district followed by six deaths in Bhadrak district, the SRC said.

Considering the situation and condition of marooned people, chief minister Naveen Patnaik directed continuation of air-dropping of food items, said Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra adding officials had been instructed to ensure that relief materials reached every marooned village.

The government withdrew two choppers from air-dropping of food items as most of the 588 marooned villages of Jajpur were accessible by boats. "Now five jumbo-size Air Force choppers are engaged for air-dropping," the SRC said.

While seven choppers were pressed into service of air-dropping food packets in marooned villages on Tuesday, two copters of Navy were sent back.

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