25 dead in Nepal land­slides, floods

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Floods and land­slides caused by tor­ren­tial mon­soon rains have killed at least 25 peo­ple in the last two days across Nepal, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day. Heavy rains have hit more than a dozen dis­tricts in the country’s far east­ern re­gion as well as some ar­eas in the west since Fri­day morn­ing, the home min­istry said.

Flood­ing has oc­curred across the densely pop­u­lated low­lands that bor­der In­dia, while some re­mote dis­tricts in the hilly ar­eas of the Far East have been hit by land­slides trig­gered by the mon­soon rains. “We are still col­lect­ing the de­tails of the loss. Ac­cord­ing to the pre­lim­i­nary re­ports to the min­istry over 25 peo­ple are feared dead,” Home Min­istry spokesman Deepak Kafle told AFP. The Prime Min­is­ter’s of­fice is­sued a state­ment putting the death toll at more than two dozen since Fri­day.

Thir­teen peo­ple died in east­ern dis­tricts and at least four oth­ers are miss­ing, the head of the re­gion’s po­lice Ramesh Bhat­tarai said. Tele­phone and elec­tric­ity lines have also been af­fected by the heavy down­pour mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to con­firm the full ex­tent of the dam­age in re­mote ar­eas, the po­lice chief added. Roads across the south­ern plains have been blocked by the rains and three high­way bridges col­lapsed in western Banke dis­trict, Home Min­is­ter Ja­nar­dan Sharma said at a press con­fer­ence.

Im­ages on so­cial me­dia showed the run­way at Bi­rat­na­gar air­port in east­ern Mo­rang dis­trict sub­merged in a me­ter of wa­ter with an empty plane stranded on the tar­mac. Chief of Mo­rang dis­trict po­lice Arun BC said that air­port had been shut due to the flood­ing. The most re­cent deaths bring the to­tal death toll from this year’s mon­soon to over 90, ac­cord­ing to govern­ment fig­ures. Nearly 100 peo­ple died last year in Nepal dur­ing the rainy sea­son, which typ­i­cally be­gins in late June and lasts until the end of Au­gust.

Last week­end in the cen­tral low­lands, four girls from the same fam­ily drowned when they fell into a flooded road­side ditch. An­other girl died and one was in­jured when they fell in open drains that had been sub­merged by mon­soon flood­ing in the Kathmandu Val­ley last month. Footage shot by a by­stander shows one of the girls ten­ta­tively nav­i­gat­ing a flooded road, be­fore sud­denly dis­ap­pear­ing into the brown muddy wa­ter. A few sec­onds later she ap­pears out of an­other drain about 10 me­ters away. The video went viral on so­cial me­dia in Nepal, spark­ing out­rage over the con­di­tion of the roads in the cap­i­tal. Nepal’s weather de­part­ment is­sued an alert yes­ter­day warn­ing that heavy rains were ex­pected to con­tinue for an­other day, and ad­vised dis­tricts to close schools and res­i­dents to stay in­doors. —AFP

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