Orissa floods recede, death toll at 80 | india | Hindustan Times
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Orissa floods recede, death toll at 80

india Updated: Sep 28, 2011 19:58 IST
Priya Ranjan Sahu
Priya Ranjan Sahu
Hindustan Times
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Even as flood water started receding on Wednesday from most areas, the second spell of floods in Orissa killed 38 persons, taking the official toll to 80.

The second spell of floods began on September 23 after a depression over the Bay of Bengal triggered incessant rain.

Officials said flooding of the Brahmani, Baitarani and Budhabalanga rivers affected more than 23 lakh people in more than 3500 villages in 10 districts.

More than 1.55 lakh people from 1362 marooned villages were evacuated to safer places. The floods destroyed more than 46,000 houses and 2.23 lakh hectares of crop land.

The government engaged seven helicopters to air drop relief materials and for rescue operations. Five teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NRDF) of the central government also joined the operations.

After flood water receded, the air dropping was confined to three districts - Jajpur, Kendrapada and Bhadrak. "Air dropping is now done by four helicopters as the area of operations have been reduced to five blocks," state special relief commissioner PK Mohapatra.

The first flood spell on September 9 had killed 42 persons and ravaged 19 of the state's 30 districts, affecting more than 21 lakh people in about 5000 villages. Nearly 3 lakh people were evacuated to safer places.

The first spell had damaged more than 25,000 houses and destroyed 1.78 lakh hectare of crop land, leading the state to seek a central government assistance of Rs 2121 crore.

Six districts including Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, Angul, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar and Keonjhar faced the flood fury in both the spells. The flood is considered to be the worst Orissa faced in the last three decades.

Two central government teams are in the state to assess the situation. Government officials said the damage assessment would rise considerably after the second spell of floods.

Ranjan Panda, convenor of NGO Water Orissa Initiative, said: "The floods this month are more destructive than those that wreaked havoc in the state in 1982 and 2008."

Describing the floods as one of the worst in the recent times, State revenue and disaster management minister SN Patro said: "We hope the floods will be over by the next 24 hours in the remaining areas. The post-flood work will begin after that. We have asked the collectors to immediately give assessment reports of the second spell."