Storm batters far-western Tarai

- ARJUN SHAH, Ganesh Chaudhary, BHAWANI BHATTA, KAILALI/KANCHANPUR
One killed, more than 300 families are affected as strong winds blow away roofs of houses in Kailali, Kanchanpur

May 15, 2018-A powerful storm tore through the far-western Tarai districts of Kailali and Kanchanpur on Sunday night, killing a woman and critically injuring two people. More than 300 families were affected as the gale blew away roofs of houses in the region.

Electricity supply and telephone services have been disrupted in affected areas. The storm brought down scores of electricity poles and uprooted trees. A tower of Radio Dhangadhi, the Dhangadhi-based FM station in Kailali, and a police post at Laljhadi in Kanchanpur also sustained damage. Broadcast was disrupted after the incident as the tower of Jana Aawaj FM was also hit.

Traffic was halted at various places as trees blocked roads. Strong winds also inflicted damage to banana plantations and vegetables in the districts.According to the Kailali District Police Office (DPO), Charumati Budha, 56, of Gauriganga Municipality-1 died as the roof of her house collapsed. Shova Chaudhary and Gidhiniya Chaudhary of Kailari Rural Municipality-7, Kailali, sustained serious injuries after being hit by the debris when parts of their houses were knocked off. The injured are receiving care at Seti Zonal Hospital in Dhangadhi.

Powerful gusts blew away roofs in several settlements, forcing hundreds of people to spend the night under the open sky. The DPO said that 301 houses were destroyed in the district. Roofs of all homes were blown away in some settlements. Nearly 100 houses at Mohanyal and 90 of those in Hasuliya settlements became roofless in Tikapur, Kailali. Forty-one houses sustained total damage in Sugarkhal and Malakheti.

“We somehow saved ourselves from the storm on Sunday night. Since the houses are roofless, we have been displaced,” said Kamala Oda of Malakheti.In Kanchanpur, electricity supply and telephone service have been disrupted across the district. Employees at the district branch of Nepal Electricity Authority said it would take up to three days to repair power lines to restore supply. About 300 chickens died when roofs of a poultry farm collapsed at Belauri Municipality-8, Kanchanpur.Kailali Chief District Officer Rishiram Tiwari said the local administration has yet to assess the damage caused by the storm. In Saptari, damage was inflicted to mango crops in strong winds early Monday morning. It is estimated that the disaster could lead to a drop of 5 to 10 percent yield in the district.

Roofs of schools at Ranigunj and Ramnagar were blown off, said police. Electricity supply around Chandra-nigahpur was disrupted as the lines were torn down.In neighbouring India, at least 70 people have been killed and over 100 injured after a fresh wave of violent sandstorms and thunderstorms. Winds of over

100 kilometres per hour struck parts of north, east and southern India late Sunday, uprooting trees, electricity pylons and damaging houses, officials said.

An FM radio tower that collapsed in Dhangadhi. 

Published: 15-05-2018 06:54

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