64 killed in Nepal as heavy rains trigger floods, landslides

KATHMANDU: At least 64 people have been killed and several others missing as floods and landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains wreaked havoc in Nepal displacing thousands of people.

Scores of houses and bridges have been swept away in several parts of the country as incessant rains have swelled rivers, posing a threat of massive flooding and causing panic among the local population.

The number of those killed in the flood and landslide across Nepal has climbed to 64 after recovery of 10 more bodies in Pyuthan district of western Nepal, police said.

Pyuthan is among the 14 worst-hit districts where at least 36 people have died in floods and landslides.

The toll increased in the district after 17 people who were earlier reported missing following a landslide were found to be dead.

Thousands of people have been displaced and hundreds of houses have been waterlogged after floodwaters gushed into their settlements.

Many of the deceased were earthquake victims who were living in a quake-damaged house after repair, police said.

Tens of thousands of Nepalese are still living in tents following the last year’s devastating earthquakes that killed nearly 9,000 people.

Water levels were close to dangerous levels in Saptakoshi and Narayani rivers.

Water flow in the Saptakoshi river has crossed this year’s highest mark after continuous rainfall for the past 10 days.

Water flow in the river was measured at 277,410 cusec on Tuesday morning, the highest for this year.

All sluice gates in the Gandak Barrage bordering India have been opened after the water level in Narayani river crossed the danger mark.

The gates were opened to allow release of water so that the risk in the barrage and upstream region could be minimised

About 34 houses were inundated in Nawalparasi district due to the swelling river.

A swollen Tinau river destroyed a suspension bridge at Butwal-13. Around 6,000 people are at risk.

Flooded Mechi river has swept away an embankment on the Indian side. After the incident, Naksalbari, Panitanki and other Indian markets have been waterlogged, said police.

The government has launched rescue and relief operations in 14 of Nepal’s 75 districts that have been affected by the floods.
Soldiers and volunteers used rubber boats to rescue people marooned by the flooding, while helicopters are being used to drop food supplies.

Nepal on Wednesday decided to allocate 750 million Nepalese rupees (around $7.4 million) for immediate rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the victims, Home Ministry officials said.

Source: Times of India. Date: July 27, 2016