The toll in cyclone-affected Odisha rose to 24 on Sunday after officials found two bodies under the rubble in Gajapati district, PTI reported on Monday. Cyclone Titli made landfall in the state on Thursday.
Fifteen people were killed in a landslide in Gajapati’s Barghar area on Friday, according to Sub-Divisional Police Officer TP Patra. Patra said 13 bodies were found the following day and two more on Sunday. At least three people in Gajapati, four in Ganjam district and two people in Khandamal district were killed in rain and flood-related incidents.
Special Relief Commissioner BP Sethi said the government has decided to provide Rs 4 lakh compensation to families of those who died in the landslide.
Three additional teams of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and the National Disaster Response Force will be dispatched to Gajapati to speed up restoration work, he said. “Though, it will take time to restore the flood-affected areas, the subsiding water level at major rivers has brought relief to people,” Sethi added.
Sethi also said the flood situation in Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada has improved marginally. He said water has receded from low-lying areas and roads are being cleared of tree trunks and electric poles.
“Electricity supply has been restored in many places in Ganjam, one of the worst-affected districts in the state,” Sethi told reporters after meeting Chief Secretary AP Padhi. “In Gajapati, Odisha Forest Development Corporation personnel have been pressed into service to clear roads by removing the uprooted trees.”
Sethi said the cyclone cause extensive damage to crops and an assessment of loss will be carried out in the next few days. According to the official, villages in Mayurbhanj district are still flooded. “The water from overflowing Budhabalanga and Gangahara rivers has gushed into around 14 villages in Badasahi block on Mayurbhanj,” he added.
“Road communication between Basta and Baliapal [in Balasore district] too continues to remain disrupted with Jalaka river still flowing above the danger mark,” Sethi said.
Ganjam District Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange said large stretches of the towns of Aska and Proshuttampur were flooded in the past two days. The relief team had to air drop food packets in these areas.
Floods have caused severe damage in Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Puri, Kandhamal and Kendrapara.
Experts warn of epidemic outbreak
Meanwhile, health experts have warned of an epidemic outbreak in Ganjam district. “There are chances of getting infected by water and vector-borne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, diarrhoea, hepatitis A and E in the affected areas,” an unidentified health expert told PTI.
Sadananda Mishra, the chief district medical officer, said there have been no reports of any disease outbreak. Mishra said health workers have been asking people to maintain hygiene and drink only boiled water. He said all medical facilities in the district were functioning.
“We have sufficient quantities of medicines,” said Addition Medical Officer (Public Health) Himansubala Patnaik. “The medicines have already been dispatched to the community health centres in the flood affected areas.” Only one case of diarrhoea was reported from Gochha area in Ganjam’s Sorada block after the cyclone, she added.