Kathmandu, August 14
At least 14 people were killed in a landslide in Nepal on Monday, taking the death toll in floods and rain-related calamities to 80 across the Himalayan nation, even as all the 35 stranded Indian nationals have been rescued, officials said.
Heavy rainfall has lashed Nepal for the past four days, swelling several Himalayan rivers beyond the danger mark and causing flooding and landslides at many places in the country.
The river Rapti, which flows through a large part of Nepal towards the southern plains, flooded human settlements and hotels popular with tourists in the Chitwan Valley.
All the 35 Indian nationals, who were stranded in Sauraha, a part of the Chitawan National Park, have been rescued, an Indian Embassy spokesperson said. They were rescued to safer place by using tamed elephants.
Although earlier reports quoting local authorities, said that 200 Indian tourists were among the 700 stranded people, the Indian Embassy official said only 35 of them were Indian nationals.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) at least 12 people were killed by landslide in Morang district today, taking the death toll in the district to 17 and overall to 78.
Thirty five people were also missing since Friday. The monsoon havoc has affected 27 districts spanning from the eastern, central to the western regions.
Nine persons were killed in Rautahat, eight were killed in Sunsari, four each in Sarlahi, Sindhuli, Bara, Makawanpur and Banke districts, five persons were killed in Jhapa, three killed each in Dang and Surkhet, two each were killed in Bardiya and Chitawan and nine persons were killed elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Nepal’s Energy Minister Mahendra Bahadur Sahi has claimed that the highways built along the no man’s land on the Indian side of the border are the major reasons behind the floods in the Terai.
“The highways made by elevating the land next to the Nepal-India border have restricted the natural flow of water, leaving Nepal’s Terai plains submerged during the rainy season,” Shahi said.
The government will take up the issue with India during Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s India visit slated for next week, Shahi said yesterday.
A total of 34,843 houses were inundated across the plains. More than 1,000 houses were destroyed in floods that killed an estimated 400 livestock, the Kathmandu Post reported.
The government has mobilised Nepal Police, Nepali Army and Armed Police Force personnel for rescue and recovery work.
Rainfall is likely to continue in the next few days, as predicted by the Meteorological Forecasting Division (MFD).
Weathermen have said the extreme rainfall, starting from eastern Nepal, witnessed in the last few days was caused by the formation of a low pressure zone over the hills. The monsoon, it added, was gradually getting weaker in the east and moving towards the west. — PTI
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