Downpour affects life across countryMet office has started using the term ‘extremely heavy’ as country sees unusual rainfall.
Rainfall that started on Saturday and continued through Sunday has affected life across the country.
The Meteorological Forecasting Division under the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology said the rains will continue on Monday as well.
The axis of the monsoon trough, which shifted north of the normal position (close to Nepal), is responsible for continuous rainfall across the country since Friday night, the met office said. Apart from this, the low-pressure area, formed in the north-west of Bihar in India, is also contributing to the continuous rainfall.
The low-pressure area of the monsoon is likely to shift close to Nepal in the coming days.
“Extremely heavy, heavy and moderate rainfall continues across the country,” said Sajina Shakya, a meteorologist at the division. “Extremely heavy to heavy rainfall is likely in some places of Sudurpaschim Province on Monday as well. Rainfall will continue in other places of the country too.”
The Met Office started using the word “extremely heavy” for excessive rainfall as the country is increasingly witnessing such events. According to officials, extremely heavy rainfall in a particular area within a short span of time was very rare in the past.
Bardiya district of Lumbini Province, Ilam of Koshi Province, Makawanpur of Bagmati Province and Lamjung of Gandaki Province witnessed extremely heavy rainfall on Sunday, triggering flash floods in the rivers and streams.
Damage and loss to infrastructure and private properties have been reported from various districts. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, landslides and floods triggered by incessant rainfall blocked at least 12 highways in Panchthar, Udayapur, Rasuwa, Makawanpur, Dhading, Myagdi, Tanahun, Mustang, Lamjung, Rolpa, Surkhet and Kailali districts, leaving hundreds of travellers stranded for hours.
The continuous downpour affected multiple international and domestic flights. According to the Tribhuvan International Airport, some flights were cancelled and others were diverted due to low visibility. Air India’s plane en route to Kathmandu from New Delhi was diverted to Varanasi, India. Flights of Air China and Sichuan Airlines were told to return to China due to poor weather conditions in Nepal.
Several flights of domestic airlines were cancelled too. The downpour affected daily life in Kathmandu Valley, especially of wage workers as they could not work.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority said water levels in several rivers of the country hit danger marks on Sunday, prompting the authorities to issue risk and flood alerts.
At least one house was destroyed and another damaged in landslides, said Dhruba Bahadur Khadka, spokesperson for the authority. “In the past 24 hours, 11 incidents of landslides have been reported from various districts. People of 10 houses have been affected while property worth Rs7 million is estimated to have been destroyed.
People living in low-lying areas and places near riverbanks where it rained heavily have been moved to safety, the authority said.
So far 46 people have died and another 46 are wounded in rain-related incidents since the start of the monsoon on June 14.
Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the climate crisis and has witnessed extreme weather events over the past decade and a half.
Evidence indicates that the maximum temperature in Nepal is rising at a faster pace (0.056 degrees Celsius) than the global average (of 0.03 degrees Celsius) per year.
Experts say extreme weather events—excessive rainfall in a short span of time, continuous rain for several days in the post-monsoon period, dry spells and drought, below-average precipitation and above normal winter temperatures—have become more frequent in Nepal of late.
The met office has predicted below-normal rainfall in the entire monsoon season due to El Nino conditions and climatic patterns in which the surface water warms, unusually.
Meanwhile, met office data showed that Birendranagar recorded the highest 118.6 mm rainfall in the past 24 hours followed by 104.7 mm in Nepalgunj, 81.8 mm in Dharan, 77.6 mm in Ghorahi, 66.7 mm in Lumle, 55.1mm in Okhaldhunga and 53.2 mm in Taplejung. Kathmandu recorded 38.6mm rainfall.