35 dead, 20 missing in Karnali floods and landslidesThe disasters set off by heavy rains over the past week have displaced 2,889 families across the province. Sixty families moved to safety, police say.
At least 35 people have died and 20 others are missing after floods and landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains lashed various districts of Karnali Province over the past week.
According to the Karnali Province Police Office in Surkhet, 10 people in Jumla, eight in Mugu, five in Kalikot, four in Humla, three in Jajarkot, two each in Dolpa and Salyan and one in Dailekh lost their lives in separate incidents of water-induced disasters.
The police office informed that 20 people, including a police constable, are missing in the disasters. Twenty-three people are injured, some critically, due to the disasters in the province.
The unseasonal rainfall wreaked havoc in several districts across the nation. Karnali Province was hit hardest by the disasters.
According to the Karnali Province Police Office, as many as 480 houses have incurred damage while 2,889 families have been displaced in various districts of Karnali, including 1,113 in Jumla, 700 in Mugu, 511 in Dailekh, 344 in Kalikot, 155 in Humla, 45 in Surkhet, 11 in Rukum (West) and 10 families in Jajarkot.
Police said 60 other families have been shifted to safer places after their houses were inundated across the province.
The Karnali provincial government has mobilised security personnel from the Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force for rescue and relief operations in the affected area. Two injured were medevaced to Province Hospital in Surkhet and Kohalpur Medical College on Wednesday alone.
Landslides blocked the Karnali Highway and other road sections in the province disrupting vehicular movement, police said.
More than 90 landslides have descended on the Surkhet-Jumla section of Karnali Highway, the lifeline of Karnali Province, since October 5. According to the District Police Office in Kalikot, as many as 73 landslides occurred in the Kalikot stretch of the highway.
The obstruction of the highway has made life difficult for the local people of Kalikot, Jumla, Mugu and Humla. The locals have to walk for hours if not days to reach their destinations. “I arrived here in Manma [the district headquarters of Kalikot] on the third day,” Sagar Thapa, a resident of Bhairabi Rural Municipality-3 in Dailekh. “I don’t know when I will reach Jumla.” He said he was on his way to Jumla from his residence to fill up a form for his recruitment in the Nepal Army.
Kalikot’s Chief District Officer Ramhari Sharma said efforts are under way to clear the debris and resume transportation. “It will take at least one week to resume transportation,” Sharma said.
Meanwhile, in Kalikot, landslides of huge magnitudes occurred at Hulma, Serighat, Sunarkhola, Tadi, Hernebhir, Galli, Chheka, Maulakatiya, Molpha, Simlagad, Pili, Serawada, Takulla, Bali, Bhaisegauda, Rachuli, Timurebhir, and Galje, among other places. The road has been swept away in various places.
Similarly, Karnali corridor has also been disrupted at several places due to the recent floods and landslides. “The Karnali corridor is completely blocked at several places and there is not even a way for pedestrians,” said Laxman Bahadur Bam of Palla. The Karnali corridor passes through five local units of Kalikot connecting the Kolti area of Bajura and the western parts of Mugu and Humla districts.