People suffer without food, shelter in flood-hit Orissa

June 20th, 2008 - 2:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, June 20 (IANS) Thousands of people continued to suffer Friday without food and shelter in flood-hit northern Orissa even as the water level in rivers declined and no rainfall was reported in the last 24 hours. “The water level in the three major rivers Subarnarekha, Budhabalanga and Baitarani that triggered floods in north Orissa have come down Friday, but they are still flowing over danger level,” Durgesh Nandini Sahu, officer on special duty in the state revenue control room, told IANS.

About one million people of northern Orissa have been hit by the floods due to rivers breaching their banks following five days of incessant rain.

Floodwaters submerged thousands of acres of land, disrupted electricity and affected roads and train services.

Balasore is one of the worst hit districts with 800,000 people affected and hundreds of villages still inaccessible.

“Water has started receding but the main problem we are still facing is the damage to roads,” said Kulamani Mishra, a revenue official engaged in relief operation in Balasore district.

An Indian Air Force helicopter air-dropped relief material to people Thursday while more supplies will be air-dropped Friday, he told IANS.

“Today (Friday) we hope that relief reaches all the people who are stranded on rooftops, in schools and buildings,” he said.

Hundreds of people were rescued Thursday and Friday from the marooned villages by rescuers including personnel of the Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force, the police and the fire service.

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