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Flood remains grim in Orissa; navy joins rescue

Bhubaneswar, Tue, 23 Sep 2008 NI Wire

Taking note of the worsening situation, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil will visit flood-hit areas of Orissa on Tuesday. He will also undertake an aerial survey of some of the worst hit districts including Cuttack, Nayagarh, Sonepur and Boudh districts of the state.

As per official report the death toll has gone up to 29 till Monday and flood situation remained grim on Tuesday morning. Though water has receded in the largest river Mahanadi, as many as 78 breaches on embankments have considerably flooded many coastal regions snapping all communication networks.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday after taking an aerial survey said to reporters: “We have reviewed all the areas which have been affected by the floods. Food materials have been sent to all the affected districts. Free kitchens have been opened in the affected areas. Drinking water, both in tanks and drinking water in pouches are being supplied to the people. The doctor teams are there and more doctors are being sent and we shall take up restoration work as soon as flood waters recede.”

Navy for rescue

Responding to the request of the Government of Orissa, five comprehensive Diving Teams with all technical support elements from the Eastern Naval Command have been pressed into action for rescue and relief operations in the flood affected areas along the Mahanadi River.

The Diving Teams along with inflatable rubberized boats without board motors, rescue equipments and medical supplies left for Bhubaneswar on 22 Sep 08. They will join two teams of INS Chilka already deployed in the affected areas, in assisting the Special Relief Commissioner in the rescue and relief operations underway. A total of 37 divers have been put into the rescue relief measure.

Large parts of the coastal Orissa have been inundated after authorities were forced to open dozens of sluice gates of the Hirakund Dam on the Mahanadi River following heavy rains in catchments areas. Only eleven gates of the dam have remained open in view of the receding waters.

According to official sources, some two lakh people have been evacuated while over five thousand villages are in the grip of the flood. With help from navy, the relief and rescue operation is expected to reach as many blocks of the 18 affected districts.

Read More: Cuttack

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