People desert Tatopani area fearing more landslipsA large number of people have left Tatopani border area for the Capital and other safe locations nearby due to the fear of landslides.
The border town that used to be one of vibrant business hubs in the country has now been deserted even by security personnel and government employees working at offices such as customs, immigration, banks and quarantine. As a result, one can hardly see people in settlements, including Chaku, Dakland, Jhirpu, Hindi, Larcha, Tatopani and Kodari, in the Nepal-China border area.
Even security personnel have moved 18 kilometres away from the border area. They are also informing locals about possible landslides.
An Armed Police Force Inspector Tamrajung Basnet said they are not moving back to the border town before monsoon as several dry landslides have been witnessed in the area. “Even government authorities have left the border town,” he added.
Tara Prasad Nepal, a teacher at a Jhirpu-based higher secondary school, said students have not been attending classes due to fear of landslides and that even telephone and transport services have been shut in the village.
Nima Rumba, a Kodari resident, demanded that the government provide them at least safe drinking water, medicines and electricity.
Tatopani VDC Secretary Dambar Bahadur Shrestha said around 2,500 of the total around 7,000 people have been displaced from the area. Those who are staying there are living in safe locations at Gumbadanda, Nanduk, Kodari and Bokchen areas, Shrestha said.
Bishnu Bahadur Shrestha, a local businessman, said they are not able to run hotels though it is in the peak season of tourists visiting Mansarobar. He said around 25 hotels in Tatopani, Kodari and Liping have been shut.
Locals said dry landslides have already started near the newly-constructed dry port and other areas such as Gati, Phulapingkatti, Marmin, Listhi and Ghumthang. Several containers ferrying goods to Nepal have also been stranded in the Chinese side as the Miteri bridge has been badly damaged by the recent earthquakes.