Fresh floods triggered by low pressure induced rains devastated cyclone-hit Ganjam and other coastal districts of Odisha, leaving 10 persons dead, five missing and lakhs marooned as helicopters launched rescue operations today.
Of the ten deaths, six, including four members of a family were killed in wall collapse in Jagatsinghpur district and four others were swept away in floods in Ganjam district, Special Relief Commissioner, P K Mohapatra said adding two others died due to wall collapse in Ganjam.
At least five persons were missing after being swept away by flood waters in Ganjam, official sources said.
Over 5.32 lakh people in 2276 villages spread over several districts were affected by the floods, while about 1.47 lakh people were evacuated to safety. Those evacuated are provided with cooked food and dry ration, SRC said.
Three helicopters undertook rescue operation in Ganjam district where the situation was a cause of concern as rivers Rushikulya and Ghodahada were in spate, he said adding tie up with Indian Air Force was done to move NDRF battalions to different places.
Helicopters were also being used to evacuate people sheltering on rooftops in Ganjam district where above one lakh people were marooned, Revenue and Disaster Management minister S N Patro said.
All rivers in Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada and Nayagarh districts were overflowing, he said.
Describing the flood situation in Ganjam as grim, Patro said thousands of people were trapped by flood waters in Aska, Sorada, Hinjili, Sergarh, Belaguntha, Rangelunda blocks as also in Gajapati district.
Besides Ganjam, districts like Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Jajpur districts were also affected by floods.
As flood waters submerged railway track at many places, all trains to south India from Bhubaneswar and Puri tomorrow have been cancelled, East Coast Railway sources said.
Nine persons sheltering on a tree near Aska were rescued last night with the NDRF and ODRF on the job, Ganjam Collector Kishan Kumar said.
Many places have now become inaccessible and relief teams could only reach them after the waters receded.
The state government announced closure of schools and colleges in coastal districts in view of the floods.
Though the intensity of rain was likely to decline, there was heavy rain in the catchment areas of rivers like Rushikulya, Budhabalang and Baitarani, Director of the IMD centre here, Sarat Chandra Sahu said.
The current spell of floods deluged vast areas close on heels of the very severe cyclone of October 12 and resultant floods devastated coastal Odisha.