The Orissa government on Monday stepped up food relief to people affected by floods that have left 16 dead and thousands homeless in the last one week, offcials said.
Special relief commissioner PK Mohapatra said the government was focusing on areas where waters have started receding and according priority to health and restoration of water supply and communications.
Three helicopters are air-dropping food packets in the districts of Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapada, where many villages continue to be waterlogged and communications are cut off.
"By the evening two more helicopters will join the relief operations," he said.
A senior official of the state flood control room said the floods, triggered by heavy rains over a week and release of vast quantities of water from Hirakud reservoir, had caused havoc in 19 of the state's 30 districts.
At least 11,255 houses have been damaged in about 2,788 villages. Around one lakh people were evacuated from the low-laying areas in the past three days and provided with emergency food assistance.
There are unconfirmed reports of six people being swept away in flood waters in the districts of Nayagarh and Bargarh.
The regions worst hit by the disaster include the western district of Subarnapur, and coastal districts of Jagatsinghpur and Puri.