Rasuwagadhi in tatters

- KRISHNA THAPA, Rasuwa
Rasuwagadhi in tatters

May 20, 2015-

In the wake of two major quakes that struck the nation 17 days apart, on April 25 and May 12, Rasuwa, among the worst-hit districts has lost a great deal both in terms of fatalities and destruction of property.

 As of date, 581 people in the district with a population of 43,300 (as per the 2011 census) have died due to the quake. While 770 have sustained severe injuries, 970 have been rescued from the rubble of houses and buildings. Similarly, rescue operation for approximately 250 missing is still on, informed the local administration. In the aftermath of the quake and subsequent aftershocks, over  8,500 houses of the total 9,778 houses in the district have either collapsed or rendered uninhabitable.

Similarly, of the estimated 400 missing tourists, foreign and domestic, rescue teams have recovered 128 dead bodies while managing to rescue 150 alive in Langtang. Even though a number of dead bodies are yet to be recovered, Battalion Chief Laxman Thapa of Narayan Battalion, Nepal Army (NA), which is coordinating the rescue efforts, informed that the rescue works had been halted for the time-being as avalanches triggered by the  aftershocks are yet to stop.

Likewise, Deputy Superintendent of Police Prabin Pokhrel said that dry landfalls have impeded the ongoing rescue operation and that they are now concentrating their efforts in Rasuwagadhi. The Chinese rescue team, in coordination with NA, Armed Police Force (APF) and Nepal Police (NP) personnel is working in the area where around 30 people, according to locals, are feared to have been buried under the landslides. Meanwhile, the Chinese team has managed to open the track along Syaphrubesi-Rasugadhi road. Although rocks continue to fall due to frequent tremors, the local administration has decided to let the vehicles stranded along the road section to pass through to Dhunche from Wednesday. “The potential risk of further landslides still remains high,” said Chief District Officer (CDO) Uddhav Prasad Bhattarai.

According to CDO Bhattarai, about 1,200 people have left their native land in search of a safer location. The Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS), USAID through ‘Suaahara’, an integrated nutrition project, has been providing a range of medical services while assisting them in constructing temporary toilets.  

And with most schools, government offices and medical facilities ravaged in the quake, locals in the district face an uncertain future.

Landfall along Rasuwagadhi-Kerung road, 4 containers found. Following the dry landfall near Ghattekhola bordering Timuregaun and Rasuwagadhi, vehicular movement along Rasuwgadhi-Kerung road section, scheduled to be opened Wednesday onwards, has been halted before its official resumption. Vehicular movement has been limited to Timuregaun from Rasuwagadhi.

Apart from rescue vehicles, the administration has barred other vehicles from treading through the road section.

Meanwhile, rescue teams recovered four containers buried under the landslide in the road section where seven containers with their driver and conductors are feared to have been buried. “The containers were found crushed and we are yet to locate the missing drivers and conductors,” said DSP Pokhrel.

Published: 21-05-2015 08:44

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