With report of another four deaths, the toll in hail storm that struck Sundargarh, Jharsuguda and Sambalpur rose to nine today as officials were engaged in restoring communication link in the vast area.
Of the four deaths reported this afternoon, Sambalpur district accounted for two and Sundargarh, Jharsuguda districts one each, police said.
Of the total nine deaths, three died of lightning while six others were crushed under trees in last evening's storm which wrecked parts of western Orissa.
While Soma Oram (8), brother Bikas Oram (6) and Suraj Oram (11) died due to lightning, Md.Rahman (6) and one Budhu Mundari (65) got killed when tree branch fell on them in Sundergarh district, police said. Five others were also injured in the district.
In Sambalpur district two women died when a huge branch fell on them, police said.
In Jharsuguda district both deaths were similarly caused while at least 20 others got injured, police said.
Scores of houses were damaged and power supply and telecom service snapped in all districts. Rourkela plunged into darkness last evening but electricity was restored in few parts of the steel city though major parts were reeling under power cut.
The town engineering department of Rourkela Steel Plant which maintains power supply to township said due to major breakdown at their 33 kv line, the supply got disrupted.
All steps are taken to restore supply.