Kendrapara, September 2 (LocalWire): Around 2.62 lakhs people are bearing the brunt of floods in Kendrapara district as the turbulent waters of Baitarani, Bramhani, Kharasrota and their tributaries submerged nearly 160 villages of Aul, Rajkanika, Rajnagar, Pattamundai, Derabishi, Garadapur and Marsaghai blocks.
Sanatan Behera, 55, of Gobindapur village under Aul block whose seven-roomed thatched house collapsed in the flood Thursday is now taking shelter on the road by erecting small polythene covered tent.
“The floodwater entered my house on July 27, for which I was forced to abandon the house along with five members of my family,” said Sanatan.
Like Sanatan, many flood-affected villages have been forced to move in with friends and relatives living on higher ground.
“The whole village is under water, we are suffering a lot, we have no food, we are enduring very painful days even after six days of the deluge,” said Gayadhar Sahoo, of Singhagaon under Pattamundai block.
“Conditions for the marooned villagers are miserable. In the worst-hit areas, little can be done until the water recedes.
Nobody is sure how long that will take. Incessant rain for the last two days has added to our woes,” said Prafulla Nayak of Patarapur village under Aul block.
When contacted Sambeet Satpathy the district emergency officer said, “2.62 lakh people of 160 villages have been affected in the flood. The authorities have been providing relief items to the affected people.”
The crisis is most severe in Gobindapur, Dimiripala, Sansidha, Argala, Ketuapal, Petapada, Earadanga, Juania, Desahi, Palimi, Padanipala, Bhuipur, Eakamania, Kolidiha, Patrapur, Narendrapur, Badaambila, Nuapada, Dasipur and Manikapatana Gram Panchayats under Aul block.
Niharika Ojha, 32, of village Benipur under Derabishi block took refuge along with her seven-year-old son and six-year-old daughter on the roof of a pucca house on Thursday when the floodwaters rushed in after the river Birupa breached embankments at Benipur on the evening of August 28.
Little did she know that she would have to remain there for four days along with some villagers. On Tuesday, she along with nine villagers were rescued by a village boatman.
Now Niharika is staying on makeshift polythene covered camp on the river embankment and this temporary camp has been the safe home for her.
Like Niharika, most of the flood-affected people of the district are now feeling trapped and overpowered by nature’s fury.
Evacuating the people stranded on roads, embankments and other elevated places posed a major challenge to the flood-fighting machinery of the government.
Those displaced by the flooding are not expected to be able to return to their homes for another week while the embankment is repaired and the river moves back to its normal course.
Children in these situations are especially vulnerable. They are most at risk from disease and suffer physical and mental distress from being moved from their homes to relief camps, added Biswal (a social worker).