By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, October 24, 2018: Contrary to initial claim of Odisha government of zero causality in the very severe cyclonic storm, Titli, and the subsequent flooding in the state, the death toll has gone up to 77.

The state government on Wednesday confirmed the death of 16 more persons taking the toll to 77, Deputy Special Relief Commissioner Pravat K Mohapatra said adding that while the bodies of 58 people were received, those of the remaining 19 were yet to be recovered.

A central team will visit Odisha soon to inspect the cyclone and flood-affected areas, Mohapatra added.

Southern district of Gajapati accounts for the highest number of 42 deaths, while 10 deaths have been recorded in Ganjam, two in Kandhamal and one each in Keonjhar, Nayagarh, Angul and Cuttack districts.

More than 60 lakh people in 17 districts were affected due to Titli and the subsequent flood.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnu Pada Sethi, Energy Secretary Hemant Sharma, Housing and Urban Development Secretary G Mathibhathan and Panchayati Raj Department Special Project Director Premchandra Choudhary have rushed to the worst-affected Gajapati district to review the relief-and-restoration work there following direction by chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

Sethi told reporters that there was an extensive damage to houses and crops in Gajapati district and the people had received relief as directed by the government.

He said normalcy was restored in the district.

The districts affected in the twin calamities are Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada, Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kandhamal, Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Khurda, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh, Puri and Angul.

The Odisha government, meanwhile, has approved a Rs 27.7-billion assistance for the relief-and-restoration work in the cyclone and flood-affected districts.

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