BY | September 11, 2011

NEW DELHI, (KUNA) — Eight persons have so far died and more than one million adversely affected in nearly 2,600 villages, due to devastating floods in India’s eastern state of Orissa, reported the Press Trust of India (PTI) on Sunday.

The villages in the state’s districts of Puri, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Sambalpur, Boudh and Sonepur have been submerged in flooding waters. Floods have been caused mainly by overflowing rivers like Mahanadi due to incessant rains over the past one week.

As many as 61,000 people from these low-lying villages have been evacuated and put in temporary shelters. Rescue and relief work is being carried out to help those stuck in floods. Food-packets are also being air-dropped in the totally cut-off areas.

As many as 1,400 boats, including 200 mechanised vessels, have been were pressed into service to ferry those stuck in gushing waters to safer places. The state government has also issued directions to close schools in view of the grim situation.

According to the latest reports, though the volume of water-flow in Mahanadi and other rivers has started receding, the situation is likely to remain critical for the next two days as it would be difficult for excess water to be released into the sea due to high tide on account of full Moon on Monday, the report quoted state officials as saying.

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