Nepal floods: Death toll touches 78; over 17,500 displaced
Kathmandu: Floods and landslides caused by incessant monsoon rains across Nepal have claimed at least 78 lives, left 40 people injured and displaced around 17,500 others, authorities said on Tuesday.
Nepal has been hit by heavy rainfall since Thursday. More than 25 districts have been affected.
Many parts of Kathmandu, including Kalanki, Kupondole, Kuleshwor and Balkhu were submerged under water on Friday.
Thirty two people are still reported to be missing in the rain-related incidents that have thrown normal life out of gear in the central and eastern parts of the Himalayan nation.
“At least 78 people have been killed so far whereas 32 others are reported missing in the flood and landslide triggered by monsoon rain that occurred across Nepal,” a statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
It said the flood related incidents have displaced around 17,500 people where as 3,366 people stranded have been rescued by the security personnel.
As the situation continues to remain grim, the National Emergency Operation Centre said the relief work has been intensified.
“Those people displaced by monsoon have been taking shelter in temporary camps and authorities have intensified relief distribution works in the affected areas,”Bednidhi Khanal, the chief of National Emergency Operations, said.
The Flood Forecasting Section (FFS) said that monsoon is active and the rainfall will continue for two to three days more in most places across the country, according to a report in the The Himalayan Times.
The Meteorological Forecasting Division (MFD) warned the public to remain on high alert and said that air and road traffic could be affected due to low visibility.
Heavy rainfall has led the water level in the rivers to rise.
Those killed include from Kathmandu, Makawanpur, Lalitpur, Rautahat and Bhojpur, Dhanusha, Khotang and Kavre districts, authorities said.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed sadness at the loss of life, displacement of people and destruction of property due to the heavy monsoon rains in Nepal and other South Asian countries, including India, Bangladesh and Myanmar after all of them have been lashed by heavy rains for almost one week now.
Nepal has appealed to the international agencies for help to prevent the possible water-borne diseases and to ensure proper health services to the tens of thousand of people affected by the incessant rains.
An emergency meeting was called on Sunday to take stock of the damage caused by the rains. Representatives of the World Health Organisation Nepal Office, the United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other agencies were present at the meeting.
By Shirish B Pradhan