Drowning Deaths On Rise

Deaths due to drowning are rising alarmingly and authorities are worried over such development and mostly young people are the victims.

Worried over rising number of drowning death cases, the State Government has declared it as ‘State Specific Disaster’ and next of the kin of the victim are given assistance, said Bishnupada Sethi, Secretary Disaster Management and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC).

Mr.Sethi said State Government had announced eight natural calamities as State Specific Disasters.

They are: Drowning, Lightning, Whirlwind, Tornado, Heavy rain, Sunstroke, Boat Accident, and Snakebite.

The State Government is providing Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia to the family of the deceased who dies in any of the seven state specific disasters, said Mr.Sethi.

During last three years, 1292 cases of drowning deaths have been reported said sources in Special Relief Organization (SRO).

These cases are other than Floods. Cases of drowning in Floods are reported as Flood related deaths.

“Every year deaths due to drowning are on rise. During 2015-16 a total 246 cases were reported, while in 2016-17, it went up to 428 and in 2017-18 drowning death cases of 618 were reported”, said a senior official of SRO.

On an average 431 cases of deaths due to drowning per annum are reported in the State.

Balasore District recorded highest 129 cases, while Bhadrak reported 118 and third was Jajpur, which reported 103 during last three years. These three districts are reporting over 100 cases and worrisome part of the fact is it is on rise every year.

1292 people have lost their lives due to drowning in 238 Blocks of 29 Districts, while Boudh district reported ‘ZERO’ on this count, officials admit.

There are no reports of death due to drowning in 76 Blocks of the State during last three years.

Highest 40 cases of drowning deaths have been reported in Basudebpur Block followed by Bhadrak Block in Bhadrak District.

At least 34 cases have been reported in Sambalpur Block of Sambalpur District and 31 each in Basta Block and Mahakalpada Block have been reported, SRO sources said.

Most of the drowning deaths have occurred during months of July to November. Out of 1292 cases occurred during last three years, 783 deaths, which is about 61 Percent have occurred during these five months.

Highest 197 deaths due to drowning reported in September, followed by 192 in August and 150 in October.

Analysts feel that deaths due to drowning have is interlinked with Monsoon Syndrome.

Secondly, deaths due to drowning are reported in beaches of Puri, Konark and Gopalpur.

Officials admitted that the stretch of the sea between Konark and Puri has been witnessing high tides since the Tsunami hit the South East Coast of India in 2004. High tides had also become a regular feature in Gopalpur.

The sea current is particularly strong during full moon and new moon and authorities are advising people to be careful while taking venturing into the sea.

District Authorities have deployed Home Guards and Nolias in beaches, however in these sea beaches deaths due to drowning are reported frequently and victims are youth, which is really worrisome.

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