Over 10 lakh affected, thousands evacuated, Central forces deployed

More 10 lakh people have been affected by floods in Odisha’s Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts in the wake of heavy rains caused by cyclone Phailin, officials said on Monday.

Several rivers in the region, including Budhabalanga, Subarnarekha and Jalaka, are in spate since Sunday. Most of the areas in the district headquarters town of Balasore and Baripada were flooded, according to reports.

While the levels of Budhabalanga began receding by Sunday evening, Subarnarekha is still rising and may endanger north Balasore if it continues to flow over the danger level through Tuesday. Thousands of people have been evacuated from low-lying areas and taken to safe places in both districts, according to Revenue Divisional Commissioner Arvind Padhee, who was camping in Balasore to oversee relief and rescue operations. “The situation is under control,” Mr. Padhee said.

Teams from the Army, the Navy and the Air Force besides the National Disaster Rapid Action Force and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force had been deployed in the flood-hit areas.

Air sorties

Airdropping of food packets was undertaken in the worst-hit areas on Monday. While one sortie was carried out in Mayurbhanj, two sorties were carried out in Balasore during the day.

The death toll had increased to 28, with five persons being killed in floods in Mayurbhanj, Balasore and adjoining Bhadrak district.

Army boats and Navy divers had reached the flood-affected areas to help in the relief and rescue operations.

CM visits Ganjam

Relief operations were progressing in the areas affected by the cyclone in Ganjam district.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also visited Ganjam district during the day.

Mr. Patnaik spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and informed him of the post-cyclone situation.

In another development, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh wrote to Mr. Patnaik seeking to assure him that the Centre would adopt a flexible approach in extending support under national schemes such as the MGNREGA, the PMGSY and the Indira Awas Yojana for the State.