29 September, 2020

The Home Of Curse

Crippled by the cyclone and drought, the floods have spelt further misery for the people and economy of the state

The Home Of Curse
Orissa is no stranger to natural calamities—barely a year after the state bore the brunt of a devastating cyclone, it has been at the receiving end of the state's worst floods since Independence. If it is not a problem of scarcity, it is a problem of plenty. While an insufficient monsoon last season caused drought in the coastal and western districts, heavy rains this year has put most of the state's 30 districts under water.

The flooding of the state's major river systems—the Mahanadi and the Brahmani—has affected 81.94 lakh people living in 12,925 villages. The toll in the last count was 84 and with epidemics taking over as the waters recede, this figure is likely to rise. Over 200 cases of gastroenteritis, cholera and jaundice have already been reported.

Hundreds of villages are still cut off and an estimated two lakh people marooned. With the calamity having affected almost the entire state, relief operations have followed the same dismal pattern as before. Inaccessible villages are surviving on air-dropped supplies which, by the government's own admission,...


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