11 killed in Orissa floods, over 20,000 homeless

June 28th, 2008 - 12:25 pm ICT by IANS  


Bhubaneswar, June 28 (IANS) The death toll in Orissa floods triggered by heavy rains during the past fortnight touched 11 even as officials Saturday claimed there was signs of improvement in the situation. The floods have claimed 11 lives and affected over 1.5 million people in about 1,600 villages in six districts of the state, a state revenue department official said.

More than 20,000 people have been rendered homeless. The affected districts are Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, Jajpur, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj. The highest 1,014 villages were inundated in the coastal district of Balasore, the official said.

“The water has receded in all the affected areas and we are now able to reach out to the victims,” Orissa Joint Commissioner (Relief) Hemanta Kumar Das told IANS.

Many of the affected people have returned to their villages and are re-building their homes, he said.

However, Oriya newspaper The Samaya Saturday reported that thousands of residents of more than 300 villages in the affected areas were still awaiting relief and many of them were drinking flood water due to shortage of drinking water.

The newspaper reported that thousands of people were living on rooftops of high rise buildings while many had camped on the national highway because their houses had been marooned by water.

The state government said 368 relief camps had been set up to provide food to flood victims.

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