Five more die from cold in Rautahat

- Post Report, Rautahat

Jan 15, 2018-

Cold wave conditions continue to hit Rautahat with five more deaths reported here on Saturday and Sunday, taking the toll to 21 in the Tarai district so far this winter.

According to the District Police Office, five persons died in several parts of the district in the past couple of days. Madu Hazara, 65, of Madhav Narayan-6 died on Sunday while Ram Prasad Kalwar, 48, of Fatuwa Bijaypur-8; Bishwanath Paswan, 65, of Gadimai-2; Seikh Idrish, 65, of Katahariya-6; and Gugali Raut, 70, of Durga Bhagwati-3 died due to extreme cold on Saturday.

According to police, most of the victims are people affected by floods, who were living in poorly built huts. Raj Kumar Mahato of the Dhangad settlement in Gaur Municipality-5 complained that blankets, quilts, sweaters and jackets belonging to the poor families were destroyed in floods and inundation in the summer and that they had no money to buy new ones.

The local administration has been criticised for its lackadaisical response to 

the plight of people in the impoverished community. They are yet to reach rural areas with aid.

Acting Chief District Officer Ganesh Adhikari said he has instructed the chief of the Women and Children Development Office to take initiatives for distributing warm clothes for the elderly and children in the district.

A cold wave has affected life greatly in several Tarai districts in the past few weeks. More than 50 people have died of severe cold in the plains so far. Saptari and Rautahat have been hit the hardest with 27 and 21 deaths, respectively.

But the official figures do not match. Home Ministry Spokesperson Narayan Prasad Sharma Duwadi said 22 people had lost their lives due to cold in the Tarai. As of Sunday, 10 people had died in Saptari and 12 in Rautahat. He clarified that the cases need to be clinically verified to confirm the cold toll. 

CDOs report to the ministry about the deaths only after examination of bodies to see if the cause of death was hypothermia, Duwadi explained the process.

Published: 15-01-2018 07:43

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