Enteric diseases kill five in Sundarbans’ Aila-hit areas

June 8th, 2009 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, June 8 (IANS) Five people died and more than a thousand were afflicted with enteric diseases in the cyclone Aila-hit areas of the Sundarbans in West Bengal, an official said Monday.
“All the five deaths have been reported from Satjelia gram panchyat of the remote Gosaba block, which was heavily damaged in the (May 25) cyclone,” South 24 Parganas zilla parishad (district council) chief Shamima Bibi told IANS on telephone.

She said enteric diseases were spreading in all the affected blocks including Basanti, Patharpratima, Kultali and Mathurapur.

There is also a fear of a malaria outbreak as the areas have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

“The water has become contaminated. Bleaching powder is also not being sprayed properly. We need pure drinking water, but the government has not been able to supply it,” Shamima said.

She also alleged that several block development officers were lax in organising relief and taking sanitation measures.

Volunteers involved in the relief operations in the Sundarbans had expressed fears of an epidemic once the floodwaters recede from the mangrove forests that cover the region.

So far, 142 people have died while nearly 600,000 houses have been damaged in the calamity, which has affected over 8.7 million people. Forty-nine people perished in South 24 Parganas alone.

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