With the fury of the swollen rivers on the wane, the fear of an epidemic loomed large over the flood ravaged areas of Orissa, where train services remained severely affected due to damaged tracks.
As the flood waters, affecting about 11.5 lakh people in nearly 900 villages receded, over 50 medical teams equipped with medicines, water purifiers and disinfectants visited different areas of flood-hit Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Kendrapara districts, official sources said.
Steps were taken to prevent the outbreak of water-borne diseases as many people visited hospitals with symptoms of diarrhoea and fever in several areas of the worst-hit Balasore district including Baliapal, Bhograi, Jaleswar and Basta.
Arrangements were made to disinfect all the water sources with halogen tablets and oral re-hydration pouches were being distributed among the deluge-hit people, sources said.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture Chandra Sekhar Sahu visited the flood affected areas to take stock of the situation and promised necessary assistance to people.
Though the water level fell in all major rivers, many trains were cancelled or diverted in the East Coast Railway zone due to flooding of the Howrah-Chennai main line, railway sources said.
Similarly, traffic was hit on the highways and other roads due to breaches caused by the gushing water, sources said, adding that steps were taken to ensure a safe journey for the stranded people.
While relief operation continued on a war footing in areas hit by floods in Subarnarekha, Budhabalang, Jalaka, Baitarani and other rivers, the met office predicted heavy rains in North Orissa.
All channels like air, rail, road and water routes were used for distribution of relief material, the sources said. The railways operated special relief trains from Khurda Road, Jajpur-Keonjhar road and Bhadrak to Contai road.
Around 10,000 quintals of rice, 1000 quintals of flattened rice and 100 quintals jaggery have been supplied to the flood-affected areas so far, besides 300 tonnes of fodder and cattle feed.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed the officials to store relief material for one month in each gram panchayat as soon as the flood waters receded in the affected districts.
Besides four helicopters from the Air Force, the state government pressed into service nearly 300 boats, one train
and trucks to transport relief materials.