Orissa on Saturday started airdropping of food packets in marooned villages as a fresh round of floods triggered by heavy rains in the past four days got worse, officials said.
"One helicopter has started airdropping in the districts of Keonjhar and Jajpur. Another chopper will join the operation soon," special relief commissioner PK Mohapatra told reporters.
The state flood control room said the latest round of floods triggered by heavy rains following a depression over the Bay of Bengal has so far marooned 911 villages in Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Kendrapada, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal and Mayurbhanj districts.
Thousands of people have already taken shelter in high-rise buildings, river embankments and on roads. However, the surging flood waters have made it difficult for many in the marooned villages to travel to safer places.
While the latest floods in Brahmani and Baitarani rivers have hit Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, and Keonjhar and made the situation worse, the Mayurbhanj district has been affected severely due to high flood in the Budhabalanga river.
Floods triggered by heavy rains and release of huge quantities of water from Hirakud dam had earlier this month killed at least 42 people and affected about four million in Orissa's 19 districts, including in the regions affected by the fresh floods.
At least one person was reported dead in the flood water in Kendrapada district on Friday.