More rain expected in Odisha, toll 60

Bhubaneswar, Oct 26 : Authorities Saturday confirmed seven more deaths in flood-related incidents in Odisha, taking the toll due to cyclone Phailin and subsequent floods in the state to 60.

The districts of Nayagarh, Jajpur and Bhadrak reported two deaths each while one casualty was reported from Mayurbhanj district, an official from the state relief commissioner's office said. The deaths occurred either due to house collapse or drowning.

The situation remains grim as rain continued to lash many parts of the state for the sixth consecutive day even though water in major rivers was receding.

The cyclone and flood victims are likely to face more difficulties as the weatherman here predicted more rain during the next two days.

Although the Bhubaneswar meteorological centre lowered the storm warning signal, it however said rain or thundershowers would occur at many places and heavy to very heavy rainfall would lash some areas.

"Yesterday's (Friday) well marked low pressure area over Telangana and adjoining Rayalseema and coastal Andhra Pradesh has weakened and now lies as a low pressure area over Telangana and its neighbourhood. It will weaken further gradually," an official of the centre told IANS.

Although all ports in the state have been asked to lower the storm warning signal, fishermen have been asked to be cautious while venturing into the sea as its condition would be moderate to rough, he said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the state was experiencing heavy rainfall and flooding first due to the cyclone and now because of the low pressure over the Bay of Bengal.

"These rains have been continuing since Oct 10 and besides causing heavy damage to public and private property, the loss to the standing crop has been severe," he told reporters here.

Patnaik announced pension holders in all the affected districts will be given one month's additional pension of Rs.300 during distribution in November.

Pensioners under all schemes will be covered, he said. The announcement will benefit about 21 lakh pensioners who are old people, differently abled, widows and destitutes.

--IANS (Posted on 26-10-2013)

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