Relief Operations Gain Speed

With improvement in flood situation the Relief and Rescue Operations were stepped up today in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts of Odisha where flash floods claimed one life and left thousands marooned.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after reviewing the situation in Video Conferencing toled Media "The flood situation in Rayagada and Kalahandi  districts is improving. Free kitchens have been opened in affected areas. Air dropping of relief materials is undertaken in Rayagada,".
While reviewing the situation in Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Koraput and Cuttack Collectors through video conferencing Chief Minister directed them to assess the damages within a week.
He asked them for restoration of communication, clearing debris from the roads, and restoration of power supply, purifying drinking water and vaccination of men and domestic animals in the affected areas to be taken up on war footing.
Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty, Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan, ACS Home Asit Tripathy, DGP K B Singh, DG Fire Services B K Behera and other senior officials were present.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi briefed the Chief Minister about the latrst developments on rescue and relief operation.
He said air-dropping of food materials had started in marooned areas of Rayagada district where road communications were snapped due to flash floods following swelling of the Nagavali and the Kalyani rivers.
While one helicopter was engaged at present, another chopper would soon arrive in the state to take part in the relief operation.
Reports reaching the Special Relief Commissioner's (SRC) office here said thousands of people were still marooned in several villages of Kalyansinghpur block of Rayagada and Junagarh and Narla blocks in Kalahandi district.
SRC Mr.Sethi said at least 3,000 food packets had so far been dropped in inundated villages and Kalyansinghpuur blocks of Rayagada district.
He said three teams of NDRF, two units of ODRAF, fire service and police personnel had been pressed into the relief and rescue operation. A team had rescued at least 66 people in Rayagada district yesterday, Mr.Sethi said.
"The government has started air-dropping of food packets for the marooned people at Majhiguda, Kumbharguda, Brahmana Sahi, Kumbharsahi and Sai Nagar in Rayagada district," SRC said, adding the district administration had also started serving cooked food to the people taken shelter in schools.
The District Administration of Rayagada has declared closure of schools and colleges for three days in Kalyansinghpur block in view of the flood.
ODRAF, CRPF and fire services units have rushed to the worst affected Kalyansinghpur and Rayagada block of the district to expedite relief and rescue operations.
Rains triggered by a low pressure over the Bay of  Bengal since Saturday led to swelling of the Nagavali and Kalyani rivers of Rayagada district causing flash floods affecting over 10,000 people in Kalyansinghpur and neighbouring blocks in the district.
While water levels in the Nagavali and the Kalyani rivers showed receding trend, the water level in Bansadhara river of Gajapati district continued to swell as it crossed the danger mark near Kasinagar in Paralakhemundi today.
According to Kalahandi District Collector Anjan Kumar Manik, one death report has been received from Chalvadi village in Thuamul Rampur block. The man died due to landslide, the collector said, adding that several roads were cut off due to the rains.
An East Coast Railway (ECoR) official said that three trains were cancelled, two short terminated and one train diverted as flood water was still running on certain train lines in the southern region of Odisha.
The floods severely affected train services in the Rayagada-Titlagarh railway section as a railway bridge between Theruvali and Singapur Road Railway stations was washed away.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Pratap Jena has asked the officials to ensure that the people are not denied minimum health service in the flood-hit districts. The officials have been directed to make essential medicine available for the people in affected areas.
Incessant rains triggered by low pressure severely affected normal life in Cuttack city too. The situation in the city turned grim due to water logging in many places forcing the District Administration to close down schools for the day.
"For dewatering in Cuttack city, 260 pump sets have been deployed," the Chief Minister said adding free kitchens have also started to provide cooked food to the affected people living in low-laying areas.
Fire Services and ODRAF Teams are pressed into services in the flood zones, said sources.

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