Bhubaneswar, Sep 13: The death toll from floods that have so far affected more than two million people over the past week in Orissa rose to 19 Tuesday, officials said.
The latest two deaths have been reported from the coastal district of Kendrapada, a senior official of the state flood control room told IANS. ‘They drowned in the flood waters,’ he said.
Besides, nine people were swept away or drowned in flood waters but their bodies have not yet been found, he said.
The floods triggered by heavy rains and release of excess water from Hirakud dam have so far affected 3,505 villages in 19 of the 30 districts. At least 21,816 houses have been damaged.
The authorities have deputed hundreds of health officials and doctors to areas where water has receded as they fear an outbreak of water-borne diseases, he said.
Four helicopters continued air-dropping food packets in the worst hit districts of Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapada, where many villages were still waterlogged and communications were cut off.
He said 1,109 villages continued to be marooned and efforts were on to provide them food packets and other essentials from choppers.
The official said the situation is likely to improve as the rain has stopped and the flood waters were receding fast.