Lightning strikes kill 33 in 2 days in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar, July 31 (IANS) At least 33 persons were killed in lightning strikes in the last two days in Odisha, said an official on Monday.

While 18 persons were killed by lightning strikes on Sunday, 15 more were reported to have died in the state on Monday, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi said.

“However, the exact death toll would be known by Tuesday as the officials are compiling the reports,” said Sethi.

Sources said the deaths were reported from Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Baripada, Puri, Deogarh and Khurdha districts.

Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh each for the families of 18 persons who were killed in lightning strikes in different parts of the state on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the flood situation in Jajpur and Kendrapada districts is fast easing as the water level of Brahmani river has significantly receded.

Cooked food through free kitchens is being provided to 17,662 persons who were evacuated in flood-hit Jajpur district. Dry ration is also being distributed, said an SRC release.

Restoration work of the Brahmani left embankment, which was breached on July 29 at Bankasahi in Bari block, has commenced on Monday.

Following the directives of the Chief Minister and the damage assessment reports submitted by the District Collectors, an amount of Rs 6.9 crore has been sanctioned for disbursement to the flood-affected families in the districts of Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri, Kalahandi and Nabarangpur, the statement said.

–IANS

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