By Anil Giri
Kathmandu: At least 34 people have been killed and hundreds of others gone missing in Nepal as heavy downpour continued for over three days across the country, triggering landslides and flood in rivers.
At least 11 people have died in Surkhet district, nine in Gorkha, Chitwan, Rukum districts, eight in Lalitpur, Udayapur, Dang and Manang districts, and six in Nawalparasi, Khotang, Sindhuli, Dhanusha, Makawnapur, Dhanusha districts, according to various media reports here.
Thousands of people have been displaced and huge chunks of arable land across the country covered by flood and debris. Hilly areas have witnessed landslips while plains are inundated.
Life in the plains has gone out of gear. Many people have started fleeing to safer places and sought immediate government help.
The mayhem has continued to take a toll on public life and property as well.
Thousands of people have been rendered homeless and several parts of the country are now disconnected as landslides have damaged highways.
Water-level in major rivers has risen above danger mark, causing fear of more floods in a large swathe of land in southern plains adjoining neighbouring India.
Landslide and floods have blocked highways, leaving passengers stranded, and damaged properties worth billion of rupees across the country.
On Aug 2, a landslide in Sunkoshi river that blocked entire movement of the river left over 150 killed.
Admitting the government’s failure to launch rescue and search operation on time, Nepal’s Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam told parliament Friday that helicopter could not be dispatched for rescue due to bad weather. It is yet to be concluded how much damage has been done by landslide and flood, he added.
“Dozens of villages are waterlogged in southern plains and in some districts entire villages are inundated, displacing thousands of people,” the minister said.
Incessant downpour has made rescue operation difficult and ineffective. Water-level in major rivers has risen above the danger-level and bridges on these rivers have become dangerous, the minister said.
All security agencies have been put on round-the-clock alert, he said, adding that an Indian security post located on the Nepal-India border was rescued from flood in Rapti river by Nepali security personnel.