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Water recedes in parts of Orissa but flood threat remains

September 16, 2011 16:18 IST

Air dropping of food was suspended after five days on Friday with flood waters receding in the Mahanadi delta in Orissa, as a fresh flood in Baitarani river threatened three districts.

With restoration of roads in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Jajpur, Puri, Nayagarh and Boudh districts, relief teams were able to reach the flood-hit areas by road, Chief Secretary B K Patnaik told reporters.

"There is no need now to continue air dropping of food and relief materials as water has receded in most areas in the coastal region," Patnaik said after taking stock of the situation.

Four helicopters of Indian Air Force and Navy had been air dropping food and relief materials for the last five days.

Meanwhile, a fresh flood threatened a large number of villages in Jajpur, Bhadrak and Keonjhar districts following heavy rains in the upper catchment areas of the Baitarani river, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro said.

The river was flowing above the danger level at Akhuapada in Bhadrak district and Anandpur in Keonjhar district and the authorities were alerted, the minister said.

Six boats were sent from Jagatsinghpur district to Bhadrak to carry out rescue and relief operation, Patro said. Patro said the state government would soon announce tax concession to affected farmers as per the relief code.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has asked officials to start restoration work immediately after waters receded in the flood-hit districts. He has asked for an assessment report by September 25 and disbursement of house damage assistance to affected people by October 5.

As per preliminary assessment, at least 31,000 dwelling houses were damaged.

At least 26 people died and 12 others went missing during the devastating floods which affected 21.59 lakh people in 19 districts of the state, official sources said.

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