Orissa flash floods toll 15, thousands hit (Lead)

July 15th, 2009 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, July 15 (IANS) At least 15 people have been killed and more than 10,000 affected in Orissa as flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rain have hit several areas, officials said Wednesday.
“Fifteen people were killed and more than 10,000 people have been affected by the flash floods,” an official of the state flood control room told IANS Wednesday evening.

“While 5,000 people have been affected in Nayagarh district, another 5,000 people have been affected in other parts of the state,” he said citing preliminary reports from various regions.

The torrential rains continued to lash most parts of the state for the fourth consecutive day disrupting public transport and hitting normal life, stranding thousands of people.

Rains have thrown life out of gear in several places including in this state capital and its adjoining Cuttack city.

Seven people had died in Nayagarh district Monday evening. Kandhamal, Koraput, Bhadrak and Keonjhar districts also reported casualties.

Most deaths were due to drowning and took place during the past three days, the officials said.

In separate incidents, six people died Wednesday in house collapses in various parts of the state, local television channels reported though official confirmation was awaited.

“Due to vigorous monsoon conditions in last two-three days, The amount of rainfall the state received by Tuesday was eight percent more than what was expected from June 1 to till date,” S.C. Sahu, Director of Bhubaneswar meteorological centre told IANS.

Three major rivers, Mahanadi, Brahmani and Baitarani, were in spate and their water levels have crossed danger marks in some places, state flood control room officials said.

As the meteorological office has predicted more rains during the next 24 hours, the state government has cautioned all district collectors to remain alert to meet any eventuality.

“No official in the flood-prone regions would be allowed to go on leave at this time,” the state’s Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Surya Narayan Patro told IANS.

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