Bridge over Bhote Koshi River collapses in SindhupalchokA motorable bridge over Bhote Koshi River along the Araniko Highway in Larcha, Sindhupalchok district collapsed on Sunday due to a landslide triggered by the incessant rain, blocking the only highway to Tatopani.
A motorable bridge over Bhote Koshi River along the Araniko Highway in Larcha, Sindhupalchok district collapsed on Sunday due to a landslide triggered by the incessant rain, blocking the only highway to Tatopani.
The bridge located at Bhotekoshi Rural Municipality connects Tatopani and Fulpingkatti and was built by Chinese government in 2038 BS.
According to a local eyewitness, Dupchhiring Sherpa, the landslide occurred with a loud explosion at around 8:30 last evening. “The loud noise of landslide followed a bright flash of lightening,” he said, “The landmass fell on the middle of the bridge and damaged it.”
The Flood Forecasting Section under the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) confirmed that the bridge has been damaged completely, however it stated that the river is not blocked, although a partial blockage was suspected on Sunday.
The DHM predicts light to moderate rainfall in the area, likely to cause landslides. It has cautioned people living nearby and downstream to stay alert.
Vehicular movement in 5 km distance connecting the border with China has come to a grinding halt. The Chinese government had built a temporary metal structure to support the bridge after it cracked following the devastating earthquakes of 2015.
Trading activities via Tatopani border point, a major gateway between Nepal and China, had sharply dropped after the earthquake and flooding in Bhote Koshi River. The collapse of the bridge has made the future of the border crossings further uncertain.
Armed Police Force DSP Bimal Dangi said the locals have been terrified due to landslide. “We have told the locals to stay safe as the landslide occurred during night time,” said Dangi.
On July 22, 1996, a landslide triggered by flood in Bhairavkunda River had swept away Larcha Bridge at the same place. Former Chairman of Tatopani Amrit Kumar Khadka said 54 people lost their lives in the landslide.