Floods, landslides inflict damage and disruptions in various districtsPower and communication outages snag relief and rescue work in Melamchi and Helambu areas.
Thirty-four-year-old Manita Thapa of Melamchitar has been taking shelter in a room of Indreshwari Secondary School at Melamchi Nagar, Ward 11 of Melamchi Municipality with her three family members since Tuesday. Her house and property worth millions of rupees have been swept away by the flooded Melamchi river.
“We don't know how long we will have to stay here,” says Thapa, adding that her family is left with only a set of clothes and some money. “We could not salvage anything from our two-storey house,” she said.
Continuous rainfall since Monday had raised the water level in the Melamchi river, which inundated the Melamchi Bazaar area and caused massive damage in the surrounding settlements.
Around 600 people in Melamchi and 300 in Helambu, which lies upstream, have been affected by the flooding, according to the District Administration Office in Sindhupalchok.
Prakash Sapkota, deputy superintendent of police in Sindhupalchok, said, ”Around 150 houses were inundated in Melamchi bazaar and a half dozen houses collapsed. Three people died and 13 others are missing.”
Until Thursday, security personnel from Nepali Army, Armed Police Force and Nepal Police rescued 74 people from the disaster zone. Currently, 80 displaced families of Melamchi bazaar are taking shelter at the building of Indreshwari Secondary School.
Bhagawati Nepal, deputy mayor of Melamchi Municipality, said, ”Security personnel and volunteers have been mobilised to keep people away from the riverside area. We are also looking for alternatives to connect Melamchi with Helambu, Indrawati and Panchpokhari Thangpal rural municipalities.”
Relief and rescue works have hit a snag due to disruption in electricity supply and telephone networks in Melamchi and Helambu areas.
“Our focus is immediate relief and rescue of the victims. Around 150 houses were damaged, around 10,000 ropani of land plots swallowed by the river and property worth billions destroyed,” said Dambar Aryal, mayor of Melamchi Municipality. The municipality has mobilised a team to collect the details of the destruction of the last few days.
In Gandaki province, all 11 districts have been affected by floods, landslides and inundation since Tuesday. But Manang, Myagdi and Lamjung have been especially hit hard by the disaster.
In Manang, a mountain district in the province, more than 350 people have been displaced by the floods and landslides in the past three days. Around 300 people are taking shelter in the new building of the district prison in Chame, the district headquarters.
As many as 35 victims of floods and landslides were rescued by a Nepal Army helicopter on Thursday. According to Chief District Officer Bishnu Lamichhane, 24 victims who were trapped in Sirantal area of Naso Rural Municipality-1 were flown to safety in Taldanda. Similarly, 11 people were rescued from the Thoche area of the same rural municipality.
In Gorkha, the rain-swollen Budhigandaki river swept away four houses in Chumnubri-3 on Wednesday. Twenty-five households from the village have been displaced. “Four houses were swept away and the whole village is at the risk of flooding. We have pitched tents on higher grounds,” said Indra Dev Gurung, a local.
In Baglung, 30 households have been displaced after their houses were swept away by floodwaters on Wednesday. Kamal Paudel of Burtibang said, “Burtibang bazaar, Bhimgithe of Badigad Rural Municipality, Gwalichaur and Kharbang bazaar areas have been affected by the flooded Badigad stream.”
In Parbat where 15 houses were destroyed and dozens of households displaced, relief distribution has begun, said Devi Pandey, the chief district officer of Parbat.
In Nawalparasi (East), a motorable bridge over the Kaligandaki river that links Dedhgau with the neighbouring Tanahun district was damaged by floods, according to Pradip Chandra Subedi, the chief administrative officer of Baudikali Rural Municipality.
Several districts of the Lumbini province were also affected by floods and landslides with road disruptions in many districts.
In Pyuthan, the flooded Jhimruk river swept away an under-construction motorable bridge at Airawati Rural Municipality-1 on Thursday. Similarly, floods caused by incessant rains for the past four days damaged a 10-metre long causeway along Bangai-Manoharapur road in Kapilvastu district.
Meanwhile, one-way traffic resumed along the Siddhartha Highway at Gaudepul area in Palpa from Thursday afternoon. Vehicular movement on the Gaudepul section of the highway had remained disrupted for three days after a landslide swept away a 50- metres road section on Tuesday. According to Shibu Khatri, the information officer at the Division Road Office in Palpa, vehicular movement was resumed by constructing a diversion.
In Karnali province, multiple landslides have occurred in various parts of Surkhet-Jumla road in Kalikot along the Karnali Highway due to incessant rainfall for the last three days.
In Salyan, transportation remains disrupted along the Rapti Highway and around two dozen rural roads in the district since Wednesday. The landslides caused by heavy rains have blocked roads at several places. According to the district police office, around 100 vehicles, mainly goods carriers, and scores of passengers have been stranded due to the obstructions.
“Efforts are on to clear the debris by using earth movers. But the cleanup work has been difficult because the rain and landslide haven’t stopped,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Govinda Thapa. According to him, two persons died and a dozen families have been displaced due to floods and landslides in the district in the past two days.
(With inputs from local correspondents)