Storm adds to woes of earthquake-hit families

- SUDIP KAINI, Krishna Thapa, Gorkha& Rasuwa

Mar 24, 2016-

Hundreds of temporary shelters of earthquake survivors were blown away when a strong storm tore through the settlements for the quake-hit in Gorkha and Rasuwa districts on Wednesday, adding to the woes of already suffering quake victims. 

The northern VDCs in the districts were hit hard by the strong winds that whipped through the region since morning. 

Government employees had a hard time in Dhunche, the district headquarters of Rasuwa, protecting important documents, as the storm blew away roofs. Roofs of a number of schools and health facilities were also tossed. Some villagers sustained injuries. 

Barpak, the epicentre of the April 25 earthquake, and neighbouring VDCs like Laprak, Gumda, Kerauja, Lapu, Uhiya, Thumi, Manbu, Sirdibas, Kashigaun in Gorkha were greatly affected as the gale ripped through 

the district.

 “Strong winds started blowing at around 7am. Zinc sheets of our temporary shelters were blown to the banks of the Budhigandaki river,” Aashmaya Ghale of Kerauja-4 told the Post over phone. 

According to police, more than 200 shelters were destroyed at Ward No 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Kerauja alone. 

A police team from Machhikhola Police Post were mobilised in the affected area. 

Villagers started collecting torn tarpaulins and blown away zinc sheets to rebuild the shelters in the afternoon after the winds receded. 

Strong winds are a common phenomenon during summer. 

“We could not build our houses on time because of the delay on the part of the government,” said Marsing Gurung of Laprak. “Where can we go now as the storm has ripped our shelters apart?” 

Gorkha Chief District Officer Narayan Dev Bhatta said the local administration has been assessing the damage caused by the storm. No human casualty has been reported, he added. “The local administration is helping the victims.” 

According to locals, a blanket of thick haze had enveloped the area since Tuesday. 

In Rasuwa, Dhunche, Haku, Syaphru, Goljung, Gatlang, Chilime, Thuman, Bridim among other VDCs were affected when strong winds lashed the area. The strong winds since early morning damaged half a dozen government offices and school buildings. Nepal Army soldiers deployed for the security of Langtang National Park and police personnel were mobilised to repair the school buildings. 

Temporary huts of hundreds of quake survivors were also damaged. Electricity poles were also uprooted, leaving many VDCs in dark. 

Family of Kipuyalmo Tamang has been formed to take refuge in a cave near Dhunche after his temporary shelter was ripped apart by the strong storm. She said it was very difficult for her to keep her paralysed husband in the cave. 

In Sindhupalchok also winds blew away the huts of the earthquake victims in some eastern VDCs. According to locals, the roofs of 150 houses were blown away in Phulpingkatti and Marmin VDCs. 

Published: 24-03-2016 08:10

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