Orissa flood situation worsens

September 25th, 2008 - 5:37 pm ICT by ANI  

Bhubaneswar, Sept 25 (ANI): In the wake of 43 new breaches on embankments in Mahanadi delta region in Orissa, flood situation worsened on Thursday with more areas submerged in floodwaters.
The Flood Control Cell in Bhubaneswar said: “Fresh areas are inundated as the number of breaches in Mahanadi system, which stood at 100 till yesterday, rose to 143 today.”
Because of inadequate manpower and boats, the plight of the marooned people has multiplied. And the intermittent rains in most of the affected coastal districts, including Cuttack, Puri, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur, compounded their agonies.
Most of the affected people in the flood-hit areas are taking shelter on highways and similar open areas.
According to sources, the administration has only 1500-odd boats at their disposal for relief and rescue work. The Navy and the central para-military forces continued to assist in the work.
Meanwhile, the Orissa Government has announced a relief package for the flood affected people of the state.
State Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Manmohan Samal said: One lakh rupees each will be paid to the next of the kin of the persons who lost their lives in the flood. The person rendered physically handicapped will get a maximum of 50 thousand rupees as compensation. A house building assistance of 25 thousand rupees will be provided for fully damaged houses and 10 thousand rupees for the partially damaged house.
Air-dropping is continuing in the worst-affected panchayats of Puri, Kendrapada and Jagatsinghpur districts.
The devastating floods affected nearly 40 lakh people in about 6,000 villages in 18 districts of the state. Over 3.77 lakh people have been evacuated to safer places so far.
With death toll rising to 48 on Wednesday, three air force helicopters dropped relief material. Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani undertook an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas.
It is an unprecedented flood and the relief announced by the Centre is inadequate, Advani said after surveying the flood-hit areas.
Large parts of Orissa have been inundated after authorities were forced to open dozens of sluice gates of the Hirakud Dam on the Mahanadi River following heavy rains in catchment areas. Only eleven gates of the dam remain open in view of the receding waters. (ANI)

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