Orissa’s flood hit attack officials as misery deepens

September 24th, 2008 - 12:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Sep 24 (IANS) Desperate for relief after days of being marooned without food and shelter, Orissa’s flood hit blocked roads and attacked officials in several places as the government admitted Wednesday that its teams had still not reached 100,000 people.Heavy rains have lead to the Mahanadi and its tributaries overflowing their banks and affected about four million people. At least 35 people have been killed, officials said.

Though the waters had receded in several places, more than 100,000 people were still marooned.

“Relief operations have been stepped up. Navy and paramilitary personnel have now joined the operations and we hope to reach the most vulnerable victims by evening,” a senior state revenue department official told IANS.

With their miseries deepening by the day, frustrated people hit out at relief distribution teams. In Nuagaon village in the coastal district of Jagatsinghpur, for instance, clashes between two groups led to at least nine people being hurt, including a policeman. Irate victims also locked the office of the block development officer complaining of irregularities in relief distribution.

Similar clashes broke out in the worst hit districts of Kendrapada and Puri, officials said. Besides, hundreds of victims blocked roads Tuesday and Wednesday in several places in both districts demanding relief.

Many victims have said they have not received any relief for three days, and if they have it has been inadequate.

According to a preliminary government estimate, the losses from the floods would be more than Rs.24 billion.

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