Odisha Cyclone Toll 21, Flood Death Toll at 22
While the devastating cyclone claimed just 21 lives, thanks to the massive evacuation efforts by the state government, which sent over 9 lakh people to safer places, the floods aftermath shocked the administration with 22 deaths and still counting.
Only five districts – Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur and Keonjhar were affected by the floods. However, the casualties are high at 22. It is belived that the government spent all its efforts on the rescue, evacuation and relief operations in cyclone-affected areas and failed to keep a tab on the flood-affected area, leading to the crisis.
As per the government data, the twin calamities have affected 151 blocks, 2,015 gram panchayats, 18,117 villages and 43 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). Despite giving more focus to cyclone-affected areas where the government had evacuated 9,83,642 people, 1,71,083 were rescued in North Odisha before the floods.
The flood waters have already started receding in the above five districts. Only relief and rehabilitation will remain a major challenge in the days to come. The number of disaster-hit villages now stands at 18,117 across 17 districts of the state.