Odisha announces 3-day relief as flood situation grim; 19 dead

Bhubaneswar: At least 19 people have died in the second phase flood that severely affected 16.50 lakh people in 10 districts, as over 60 villages still remained marooned in worst-hit Ganjam, official sources said.
The toll which stood at 16 earlier mounted to 19 as three more deaths were reported from Mayurbhanj district where a 10-year-old schoolgirl and a 45-year-old man died due to wall collapse while another 42-year-old man drowned.
Earlier, two deaths each were reported from Bhadrak, Jajpur and Nayagarh districts while in Ganjam it remained unchanged at six and four in Jagatsinghpur, Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra told reporters here after the situation was reviewed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
"All the deaths were due to wall collapse and drowning," Mohapatra said.
The low pressured induced rains caused fresh flood in Budhabalang river of Mayurbhanj district. Besides the district headquarters town of Baripada, flood water gushed into about 50 villages in the tribal dominated district, sources said.
Meanwhile, according to SRC office sources, all the major rivers like Rusikulya, Godahada and Vansadhara were flowing below the danger mark.
"Many breaches occurred near Patapur, Manikapur, Achutarajpur and Srinibaspur of Banapur area of Khurda district as Salia Dam spilled over," they said, adding due to very heavy rainfall 96 distribution transformers of Central Electricity Supply Utility are damaged in Khurda district.
Mohapatra said at least 2.29 lakh people are evacuated and provided with cooked food and dry ration. "Emergency food assistance for 3 days were provided to the people affected by very heavy rainfall on account of low pressure," he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister announced a special package for pension holders of the districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Gajapati, Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kandhamal, Kendrapara, Khurda, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh and Puri which have been affected by rain and floods due to cyclone and low pressure.
"Pension holders in all affected districts will be given one month additional pension of Rs 300 each during distribution of pension of November 2013. Pensioners under all schemes will be covered. The beneficiaries are mostly aged, differentially-abled, widows and destitutes," Patnaik said.
Ganjam district collector Krishan Kumar said the officials and volunteers can now reach marooned villages by boats as water level are receding from affected places.
An IMD bulletin said heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur over the next 48 hours at one or two places over Koraput, Malkangiri, Nawarangpur, Rayagada, Gajapati and Kalahandi districts and heavy rainfall at one or two places over north Odisha.
Railway sources said the Konark Express from Bhubaneswar to Mumbai would resume from the day as water has receded from the tracks.