At least eight people were killed and two others missing in separate incidents of boat capsize and other mishaps when a severe north wester hit Jharsuguda and Bargarh districts of western Odisha early on Sunday morning.
While seven people were killed, including five in four boat mishaps in the Hirakud reservoir on the river Mahanadi, in Jharsuguda district, a woman died in a boat tragedy in Bargarh district, sources in the Special Relief Commissioner's (SRC) office said. The body of Purnima Mallick (45) was fished out of the reservoir at Pudubagh, while Tejraj Kalo (65) and his son Bibhuti Kalo (35) died after their boat capsized in Hirakud at Khebra, they said. Similarly, bodies of Jagannath Dhurua (35) and Khusiram Sa (28) were fished out of the reservoir from different places in Jharsuguda district. A man was missing after a boat mishap in Lakhanpur area. One Biswambar Bhoi (60) died when lightning struck at Singeipalli in Jharsuguda district. Eight-year-old Bibek Seth was killed when an uprooted tree fell on him during a storm in Lakhanpur area. Similarly, a woman Hemakanti Dhurua drowned when a boat sunk at Ambabana in Bargarh district while her husband Ashok Dhurua went missing, SRC office sources said.
Most of the victims were fishermen as the disaster lashed the region when they had gone out for fishing in country boats. Efforts were on to locate the two missing persons. Rescue and search operation has been launched by the personnel of fire brigade and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), they said.