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Orissa: Army helping 2.8 million flood-affected

August 31, 2003 03:59 IST

The Indian Army and navy moved into flood-affected areas in Orissa on Saturday to help civilian authorities help 2.8 million affected people in 14 districts.

Nine flood-related deaths were reported on Saturday.

Three columns of the army and navy fanned out over the affected areas of Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts as heavy rains and severe floods in the Mahanadi system caused breaches inundating large areas, official sources said.

Of the deaths, five were reported from Balangir district since Wednesday, while three persons died in Cuttack district and one in Kendrapara district, they said.

With over 13.5 lakh cusecs of water gushing through the Naraj delta head since Friday night, the water level in the Mahanadi and its branches criss-crossing the coastal plains rose alarmingly causing at least two large breaches in Cuttack and Kendrapara districts.

The swirling Chitrotpala opened a 40 metre wide breach on its embankment near Palada in Kendrapada district, while another occurred at Gobardhanpur on the Mahanadi in Athagarh subdivision of Cuttack on Friday, Principal Secretary in the Water Resources department B K Patnaik said.

The breaches inundated large areas, while distress conditions developed at ten places on the embankments of the Debi, Kathajodi, Bhargabi and Chitrotpala rivers, he said.

A report from Cuttack, quoting official sources, said that about 400,000 were marooned in Cuttack district.


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