Thunderbolt kills 250 sheep, 300 more go missing in JajarkotThe locals collectively incurred a loss of around Rs 40 million in the incident.
Around 250 sheep died after being struck by thunderbolt coupled with a strong gale in a highland pasture of Kushe Rural Municipality in Jajarkot district on Saturday. Other 300 sheep are reportedly missing from the grassland, said police.
Around 80 locals of Kushe have been rearing sheep as commercial farming. Preliminary police investigation showed that the locals collectively incurred a loss of around Rs40 million in the incident.
Durga Bahadur Rokaya of Kaphalla in Kushe Ward No. 8 said 83 of his 145 sheep were killed by the lightning and 62 others missing. “We depend on our livestock to see us through the year. This incident has left us destitute,” said Rokaya, urging the local unit and other authorities to provide him and those who lost the livestock with suitable compensation.
The locals of Kushe, a remote local unit in Jajarkot district of Karnali Province, rear sheep by building pens at the highland locally called Patan. The area, which lies at an altitude of around 4,800 metres above sea level, is abundant with soft and nutritious pastures. The highlands are prone to adverse weather conditions with sheep left the graze there often falling victim to strong thunder and lightning, windstorm and wild animal attacks.
Harichandra Basnet, chairman of Kushe Rural Municipality, assured compensation to the victims. “We have deployed employees to assess the damage caused by lightning. The number of dead sheep could be even higher. We will soon take initiative to provide compensation to those who lost their livelihoods,” said Basnet. According to him, a single farmer stands to lose Rs100,000 to Rs1.2 million in livestock when such disasters occur.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Shyam Bahadur Khatri said a security team would be dispatched to the incident site soon to assess the damage. “We will investigate the incident and assess the damage soon,” he added.