Bhubaneswar : While the intensity of cyclone Phailin has decreased considerably, there are fresh worries of flooding in Odisha with three rivers overflowing in the state. Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak and Jajpur districts are in danger following heavy rains.
The death toll in the cyclone has risen to 21 in Odisha and 1 in Andhra Pradesh. Apart from that, four people have also lost their lives in post-cyclone floods as well.
The rescue workers who were till now focusing on evacuation of people to save lives from the cyclone, have now changed focus and are helping people in flood hit areas. Three Indian Air Force helicopters have reached Bhubaneswar to start the operations and will airdrop food packets to the flood affected areas.
The rehabilitation in the cyclone affected areas remains a big challenge for the government as nearly one lakh people are still in shelters. While there have not been many casualties, there has been a massive loss of property. Over 5 lakh hectares of crops have been damaged and over 1 crore people affected have been affected.
Houses have been blown away, electricity poles uprooted, businesses shut, people have are trying to battle the massive devastation to property that the cyclone has caused. "I have incurred huge losses from this cyclone, my hotel is resting on the seabed. I wasn't able to leave the hotel, I stayed here all night. There were a lot of guests, they also left in fear. The Odisha government is not giving us any relief. We are very worried," said a victim of the natural calamity.
Meanwhile, cyclone Phailin which made its landfall on Saturday is making its way northwards with its impact now being felt in West Bengal. Heavy rains have left several areas of Asansol in the Burdwan district inundated. Two people have died and 5 others have been injured after a 3 storey building collapsed in the Mantri Bazar area.