The flood situation in Odisha remained grim today with some rivers still in spate after Cyclone Phailin dumped heavy rains while 75,000 marooned people were left to be evacuated in Balasore and Jajpur districts.
Elsewhere in the region,three days of downpour due to the ‘peripheral effect’ of the cyclone has caused Panchet dam of Damodar Valley Corporation in Jharkand to breach its danger mark.
Relief and restoration work was stepped up today in areas ravaged by twin calamities of the cyclone and resultant floods in Odisha which affected over 1.2 crore people in more than 16,000 villages and claimed the lives of 26 persons five of whom perished in floods. Some swollen rivers,however,started to recede.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik made an aerial survey of the flood-hit Balasore,Jajpur,Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj districts this afternoon.
Patnaik has decided not to celebrate his birthday tomorrow in view of the disaster,official sources said. Describing the situation caused by sudden floods in the five districts that also included Keonjhar following cyclone
induced heavy rains as “grave”,Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro said over 75,000 people were still marooned in flood-hit Balasore and Jajpur districts.
Cyclone and floods had affected around 1.2 crore people in 16,487 villages of 2009 gram panchayats and 43 urban local bodies spread over 148 blocks of the state,he said. While standing crops with over 6,25,408 hectare area had
been destroyed,3,33,070 houses were damaged due to the cyclone and floods,the minister said.
Stating that more than 9.9 lakh people had been evacuated ahead of the cyclone that made a landfall at Gopalpur in Ganjam district on Saturday night,Patro said 1,12,241 people were evacuated in flood-hit areas.
Though water level in the river Budhabalang was receding in Bahanaga,Aupada,Simulia,Nilagiri and Soro areas of Balasore district,the flood situation was described as still grim in Basta,Bhogarai,Jaleswar and Baliapal areas where river Subarnarekha was in spate.
The number of marooned persons has come down from over 2.5 lakh yesterday to around 75,000 to 68,000 in Balasore and 7,000 in Jajpur districts,Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra said.
“Following heavy showers in the catchment areas of rivers Damodar and Barakar,the water level was three feet above danger mark at Panchet Dam while water at Maithon was approaching alarming level,” Chief Engineer (DVC-Civil) P Kiran said in Dhanbad in Jharkand.