M A I N   N E W S

Flood challenge in Phailin’s wake
Heavy rains batter Odisha
Lakhs marooned
Fresh test for rescue teams

Weakened Cyclone shifts to Jharkhand

After leaving a trail of destruction, Phailin has finally left Odisha and shifted to neighbouring Jharkhand as a depression, IMD sources said. The system would move north-northeastwards and weaken gradually into a well-marked low-pressure area by Monday evening, the IMD said.

Bhubaneswar/Visakapatnam, October 14
Pummelled by Phailin but refusing to be swept off by its fury, the unprecedented rescue and evacuation spread across the vast East Coast faces a fresh challenge as incessant rains triggered floods and marooned 2.5 lakh people in Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts of Odisha.

The situation due to floods caused by cyclone-induced rain in the two districts was described by an official as critical.

The Budhabalanga and the Subarnarekha rivers are in spate following sudden inflow of water, according to Odisha Special Relief Commissioner PK Mohapatra. Bhadrak district was also affected while flood fury loomed large over Ganjam district, the worst-hit by the cyclone.

The Army, Navy and IAF teams besides National Disaster Response Force personnel have been deployed for rescue and relief operations in the flood-affected areas. The death toll due to the impact of cyclone went up to 27 with four persons being killed in floods in Mayurbanj and Bhadrak districts. Phailin has dissipated, but the heavy rains and floods in its aftermath are a cause for concern, Odisha Revenue and Disaster Management Minister SN Patro said.

The flood situation in Balalsore district was critical with flood waters of the Budhabalang inundating villages in Remuna, Balasore sadar, Jaleswar and Bhograi blocks.

The administration has started repairing power lines and tens of thousands of destroyed thatched houses that were destroyed due to the cyclone.

A senior Navy officer said the military was being deployed in the flood-hit areas as per the request of the Odisha Government. “Three teams of divers of the INS Chilika will participate in the rescue operation in Balasore,” he said.

“We have launched a joint operation with the state government in the flood-hit areas. At least 450 Army personnel along with boats and other logistics have reached the spot. We have some more Army men in reserve,” the officer, who attended a flood-review meeting in Bhubaneswar, said.

Giving details of the 21 deaths in the cyclone in Odisha, Mohapatra said deaths were reported from districts like Ganjam (9), Balasore (3), Puri (3), Nayagarh (2), Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur Khurda and Bolangir (one each).

The East Coast Railway on Monday fully restored train services in the cyclone-hit areas of Odisha. — PTI





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