Rain stymiess search Nepal sur­vivor search


Res­cuers searched through piles of rocks and de­bris Fri­day af­ter a land­slide swept through six moun­tain­ous Nepalese vil­lages, killing 24 peo­ple and leav­ing dozens more miss­ing.

Heavy rain­fall was ham­per­ing the search and res­cue in Taple­jung dis­trict, about 500 kilo­me­ters east of the cap­i­tal, Kathmandu, where the land­slide on Wed­nes­day night caught res­i­dents asleep.

A lull in the mon­soon rains on Thurs­day af­ter­noon en­abled a res­cue he­li­copter to evac­u­ate eight in­jured peo­ple.

Twenty-four bod­ies have been dug up, but dozens more are re­ported miss­ing, said po­lice of­fi­cial Shanti Raj Koirala.

The re­mote area was pounded by the high­est rain­fall in 27 years, ac­cord­ing to the Nepal’s Depart­ment Of Hy­drol­ogy and Me­te­o­rol­ogy. The near­est town is at least five hours’ away on foot when the weather is good. There are no gov­ern­ment of­fices or po­lice sta­tions in the area.

Land­slides are com­mon in moun­tain­ous Nepal dur­ing the rainy sea­son, which be­gan in June and ends in Septem­ber.

The Hi­malayan na­tion is still re­cov­er­ing from earth­quakes in April and May that killed more than 8,700 peo­ple and caused mas­sive dam­age, with many of the roads cut off by land­slides.

Mean­while, the gov­ern­ment an­nounced Thurs­day it would hire in­ter­na­tional ex­perts to study trekking routes in the moun­tains of Nepal to see if they are safe for hik­ers to re­turn.

Nine­teen peo­ple were killed and scores in­jured in an avalanche at Mount Ever­est base camp trig­gered by the April 25 quake. Also, the trails around the Lang­tang val­ley in north­ern Nepal were com­pletely dam­aged and an en­tire vil­lage buried by a land­slide and avalanche set off by the earth­quake.

The next trekking sea­son starts in Septem­ber.


In­dian farm­ers thresh rice by hand near a paddy field on the out­skirts of Silig­uri, In­dia on Thurs­day, June 11. In­dia com­mands over 2 per­cent of the earth’s land area and about 4 per­cent of its fresh wa­ter re­sources, but feeds about 17 per­cent of its pop­u­la­tion, putting tremen­dous pres­sure on nat­u­ral re­sources.

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