Bhubaneswar: The floods triggered by heavy rains in the past week have affected nearly 1.8 million people in Odisha with the death toll rising to 35, an official said Thursday.
Eight more deaths were reported from 24 of the state's 30 districts, taking the number of those killed in rain-and flood-related incidents since July to 35, a revenue and disaster management department official told IANS.
Although the situation is fast becoming normal, the water level in Mahanadi, Devi and Baitarani rivers is flowing above the danger mark at some places, he said.
The situation continues to remain grim in Bhadrak and Jajpur districts, he added.
He said the floods have affected nearly 1.8 million people and half-a-million livestock while destroying 15,943 houses so far.
Crops over 208,911.9 hectares were damaged and 69,430 people evacuated after rain water flooded homes and streets.
A total of 243 free kitchens are being run to provide meals to the flood-affected.
As many as 11 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams and 30 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams are assisting the administration in rescue and relief operations, he said.
Authorities were anticipating several coastal districts will be flooded after 50 gates of the Hirakud dam on the Mahanadi river in Sambalpur district were opened Wednesday evening following heavy rain in the upper catchment area.
The released dam water has already passed the delta head Mundali in Cuttack and it was well within the safe limit. "Therefore, the possibility of high flood in the downstream area is ruled out," the official said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who made an aerial survey of the flood-hit districts said the situation is improving and announced the flood-affected people will be provided relief for the next seven days.