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At least 30 killed in floods, landslides

  • 15,000 houses inundated in Saptari, 50,000 people affected
  • Highways, hundreds of settlements affected in other districts
- Post District Bureau, Kathmandu

Aug 13, 2017-Floods and landslides triggered by severe monsoon rains have killed at least 30 people across the country, with the highest death toll of seven reported from Sunsari. Four have gone missing.

Thousands of houses have been inundated. In Saptari, floods have deluged around 15,000 houses.

An emergency meeting of the District Natural Disaster Rescue Committee estimated that around 50,000 people have been hugely affected as floodwaters destroyed foodstuff and other belongings. 

Around 2,000 families have been trapped in floodwaters at Sakarpura, Banarjhula, Barsain, Tiluliya and Kusaha since Saturday morning. Security personnel were yet to reach the affected areas. 

Dozens of settlements including Tilathi, Sakarapura, Malhaniya, Kusaha, Banarjhula and Rajbiraj have been hit hard.

According to Saptari Chief District Officer Krishna Bahadur Katuwal, the western embankment of the Koshi river was under threat of being swept away. According to the authorities, 34 of the 56 sluice gates of the Koshi Barrage were opened in the evening. 

Flooding has wreaked havoc in districts along the plains while landslides have resulted in loss of lives and property in the Hill areas.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, however, said 17 people were killed in the past 24 hours.  

According to our district correspondents, flooding and landslides have claimed seven lives in Sunsari, four each in Jhapa and Sindhuli, three each in Sarlahi, Morang and Banke, two each in Dang and Bara and one each in Makawanpur and Palpa in floods and landladies. 

With the weather office forecasting rains for the next 24 hours, various districts are still at flooding and landslide risk.

The Flood Forecasting Division on Saturday issued an alert, advising the general public to stay indoors and safe and district authorities to close schools in view of 

more rains in the next 24 hours.

Though monsoon entered Nepal in the second week of June, it became extremely active only recently, with the country experiencing torrential rains over the last three days. 

Scores of houses were inundated in Itahari, Duhabi and Koshi village among other places in the eastern region. Security personnel have been mobilised to rescue the victims. 

In Morang, floodwaters have entered Biratnagar Airport as well. 

Highways in different places along the plains also have been affected. 

About 50 metres of road caved in at Daunne, leaving thousands of passengers travelling along the East-West Highway stranded, said police. 

Floods in the Hattikhauwa stream has washed away a 10-metre stretch along the Tulsipur-Ghorahi road in Dang. 

Likewise, a landslide blocked Koshi Highway at Dharan Sub-metropolis-13. 

Water levels in Rapti River in Banke are rising constantly after incessant rainfall for the last few days. Locals of Betahani in Duduwa Rural Municipality were left stranded after a bridge was swept away. In Chitwan also, a bridge was swept away by floods.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has directed all the concerned ministers and security bodies to rescue the victims from the inundated areas of Tarai.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara on Saturday called Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri and urged him to take initiatives  to open the sluice gates of the Koshi Barrage. According to Minister Mahara’s personal secretary Yubaraj Chaulagain, Ambassador Puri conveyed to the minister that the process to open the barrage gates had already begun. 

(With inputs from our local correspondents) 

Published: 13-08-2017 08:11

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