Bhubaneswar, Jul 18 (PTI) The death toll in Odisha floods rose to four today, as the state government sounded an alert in 12 districts in view of the likelihood of heavy rainfall due to depression, though the overall situation improved slightly.
While two persons had perished in floods in Kalahandi district earlier, two more deaths were reported in Malkangiri district today.
A five-year-old girl died due to wall collapse at a village in Padia area of Malkangiri, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupad Sethi said.
A 30-year-old farmer died after being washed away by gushing water from a nullah at Gorakhunta village under Malkangiri police station limit, Inspector In-Charge of Malkangiri police station Ranjan Kumar Sahu said.
Around 65,000 people were affected by the flood.
As Malkangiri and Nabrangpur also came under the grip of flood, vast areas in these two districts were inundated due to flood in small hilly rivers and nullahs, snapping road communication.
In Nabarangpur, at least 6,000 people were evacuated as flood water submerged more than a dozen villages. One ODRAF unit was pressed into service to undertake rescue and relief operation, SRC office said.
The flood situation “slightly improved” in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts with the water level receding “to a large extent”, the SRC said.
There was no heavy rainfall in the two districts since last night following which the administration has geared up relief operation with the help of NGOs, he said.
However, a report from Kalahandi said Hati river was again in spate this evening after the water level had fallen considerably due to release of water from Indravati project, local rain and rain in catchment areas.
The state government pressed into service a Coast Guard aircraft to assess the situation in two villages of Niyamgiri hills which were cut off due to flash flood caused by incessant rains.
A Dornier aircraft of the Coast Guard was engaged in Niyamgiri hills area where some Dongria Kondh tribals were marooned due to floods in Kalyani river, the SRC said, adding the aircraft was also used for dropping relief materials.
While over 4,000 Dongria Kondh indigenous people in the villages of Niyamgiri Hills were marooned as a bridge over river Kalyani was washed away due to the floods, around 2,000 people of other communities also live on the other side of the river and all of them are inaccessible, Sethi added.
Free kitchens have been opened at many places to provide cooked food to the flood-hit people.
On the situation in Rayagada, the SRC said over 28,000 people living in 70 villages of Rayagada and Kalyansinghpur blocks have been affected in the floods, which also left five people injured in incidents of wall collapse.
Three villages — Jilinda, Budaguda and Majhiguda — remained marooned even two days after the flood hit Rayagada district, Sethi said.
Five bridges, including two railway bridges, have been washed away in flood water and four roads damaged. The teams of ODRAF, fire service and CRPF were engaged in rescue and relief operation.
In Kalahandi, 28,517 people in 132 villages under seven blocks have been affected as two persons died in the district.
While one of them drowned, a landslide claimed the other person’s life.
Three people have also been injured in wall collapse, Sethi said.
All rivers, including Bansadhara, were flowing below the danger level, the SRC said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.