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Floods 2008
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The State of Orissa was ravaged by floods in June and September during the year 2008. The floods that occurred in June 2008 and in September 2008 are unprecedented. The floods of June and September 2008 were of calamity of rare severity. The water level recorded in the Subarnarekha exceeded all the past records. The floods in June’08 brought havoc in districts namely Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar. Since floods in June 2008 did not allow us any breathing gap, the State experienced a devastating flood in the Mahanadi River System in September2008.
 
The flood in September 2008 was due to heavy rainfall in the upper as well as in lower catchments of the Mahanadi River System resulting out of the effect of a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal from 16th to 21stSeptember 2008. The magnitude and severity of the flood in this system has even surpassed the ferocities of 1982 and 2001 floods which were known to be greatest floods in the system. During September, 19 districts namely, Angul, Bargarh, Bhadrak, Bolangir, Boudh, Cuttack, Gajapati, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kalahandi, Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Khurda, Nayagarh, Puri, Rayagada, Sambalpur ,Nuapara and Subarnapur had been seriously affected. In total, the affected Districts come to 21. The severity of September flood was considered to be at par with the floods 1982.
 
The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India had reported the floods of September’08 as an Unprecedented Flood Situationon 20th September 2008, vide their letter No.11011 / 2008 MHA-DM-I Dt.20.09.08.
Extent of Damages
Damages
September
June
No. of Districts affected
19
6
Blocks affected
145
25
GPs affected
1880
277
Villages affected
8026
1768
ULBs affected
29
9
Population affected (In lakh)
45.23
14.94
Human lives lost
96
14
Houses damaged
212965
45,190

Response
 
In all, 4,30,856 people were evacuated to safer places and kept in temporary shelters during the floods. For rescue and relief operation, 54 power boats with 162 crew of ODRAF / State Fire Service, 43 boats with 215 crew of NDRF, 25 Boats with 100 crew of BSF, 5 Boats with 50 Crew of Navy (INS Chilika) were immediately pressed into action. In addition to that 78 Boats with 140 crew of State Port Engineering Organization of SRC were also deployed. Besides, 1,810 boats owned by private individuals were utilized by the District Administrations for rescue and relief operation. All the five units of Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) were deployed in Cuttack, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur & Mayurbhanj districts for rescue and relief operation. 
 
Evacuated people were provided with adequate quantities of dry food and cooked food through free kitchen centres. 1,118 free kitchen centers were opened covering 4, 16,395 beneficiaries. In view of the intensity of the high floods and devastation, emergent relief was sanctioned for a period of 15 days for the marooned people of the flood affected Districts. Emergent relief in shape of rice, chuda and guda was distributed in the flood affected villages. In addition to that dry food, candles, matchboxes, kerosene and other essential materials were distributed. The quantum of emergent relief has been enhanced from 500 gm to 1.00 Kg per adult and from 250 gm to 500 gm per child per day. The emergent relief per beneficiary was provided as per the CRF norms i.e. Rs.20/- per adult per day and Rs.15/- per child per day. Children and infants in the flood affected areas were also provided with nutrious baby food for a period of 15 days at a package worth of Rs.225/- per child.
 
            The helicopters of Indian Air Force pre-positioned well in advance at Bhubaneswar Air Port were immediately pressed into service to facilitate the air-dropping of food packets in the marooned areas. Food packets containing chuda, gud, biscuits, match box, candle, salt etc. were air-dropped through IAF MI Helicopters in Kendrapara, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Puri Districts. 96 sorties were made to drop 57,390 food packets and 2 sorties were made for landing of 6 MT of food materials. The air dropping operation was conducted from 20th Sept.’08 to 27th Sept.’08. During this flood for the first time, marooned people were rescued through Air lifting.
Similarly during June floods, 48 sorties were made to drop 28,602 food packets and 40 sorties made for landing of 102.2 Metric Tons of food materials in marooned areas of Balasore District. The air dropping operation was conducted at I.T.R., Chandipur from 19th June’08 to 23rd June’08.
            Schools were kept closed in the flood affected areas of Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapra, Jajpur, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Sonepur, Boudh, Bolangir Districts for use as relief camps and free kitchen centers.83242 families were provided with polythene sheets for temporary shelter since houses were damaged either fully or severely. In order to prevent outbreak of epidemics, 172 medical teams were deployed in the flood affected Districts and 559 Medical Relief Centres were opened. 3,32,121 ORS packets, 36,29,933 Halogen tablets were distributed.  
Adequate arrangements were made for supply of safe drinking water in the flood affected areas. 103 water tankers and 129 mobile vans were deployed. 49,49,700 water pouches were distributed. 2,149 wells and 25,976 tube wells were disinfected. 2,778 bags of bleaching power were distributed in the flood affected areas.
The State Government also took due care of the animal resources. Affected animals were shifted to safer places. 272 veterinary teams were deployed in the flood affected areas. 4.31 lakh livestock have been treated and vaccinated. 5,540 MT of cattle feed of high quality was distributed.

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