The flood-ravaged villages of several areas in Odisha’s Jajpur district have been gripped by a snake scare as it has become a habitat of poisonous reptiles.

“As many as 12 cases of snakebite have been reported from the flood-affected areas across the district but there is no casualty. Anti-snake venom injection and other medicines are available at block and the district headquarters hospitals,” said Chief District Medical Officer Binayak Prusty.

Thousands of flood-hit people are spending sleepless nights following the menace, particularly in Dasarathapur, Korei, Jajpur and Bari blocks as snakes are sneaking into homes. “I was awake for the past couple of nights to guard against snakes as my aged parents, wife and two children are scared to sleep at home. Poisonous snakes are sneaking into our house,” said Rabindra Parida of Kanyan village of Dasarathapur block. The entire flood-ravaged village is gripped by a snake scare as it has become a habitat of the reptile. “At least 16 snakes were killed by villagers in the past 10 days,” said Radhakanta Das of the same village. As human habitations in these areas are on a high land, snakes sneak into the habitat to take shelter during floods. “The floodwater has forced snakes to come out of their habitat in search of higher ground. They like to go somewhere warm and in the process enter houses. They will not attack anyone who get in their way unless they are provoked,” said Anirudha Samantray, an environmentalist. - PTI