Fresh floods in India claim sixteen lives

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Image of Mahanadi River.
Image: NASA.

Floods in the eastern state of Orissa in India have left 16 dead. Over 180,000 people have been evacuated to safer places, while hundreds of others have taken shelter on national highway and cyclone shelters. The flood, described as the worst since 1982 by officials, has marooned 191 villages. The rising Mahanadi river over flowed at Mundali along 28 breaches to inundate and cut off several villages.

A total of 1.5 million people living in 17 out of 30 districts of Orissa have been affected. Crop areas of over 2,470 square kilometers have been inundated. Cuttack, Kendrapara, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts are worst affected. All major state rivers and their tributaries are flowing above the danger level due to the heavy monsoon rains.

The new flooding comes just weeks after Kosi river that flows from Nepal to India, burst its embankment and submerged nearly 1,000 villages in the neighboring state of Bihar in the north, killing at least 48 people and driving more than a million others from their homes. "The worst is yet to come," said Benudhar Dash, Additional Relief Commissioner of Orissa.