Bad weather hampers rescue for victims of Sankhuwasabha landslideEleven people are missing while four have been rescued alive. The landslide has washed away nine houses.
Juddha Bahadur Rai learnt that his 65-year-old wife, Gori Maya, and his daughter Prakriti, 22, had gone missing after Sunday morning’s landslide only about 12 hours later.
The landslide had struck Besinda, a village of 86 households, in Sankhuwasabha at about 1am on Sunday. Eleven people are missing whereas four have been rescued alive. The landslide washed away nine houses.
When his home was battered by the landslide, Juddha Bahadur was at kharka, a shelter for sheep and yaks in the Himalayas, in Bewana village, a two-day travel from his home in Besinda. Locals take turns to visit kharka to care for their cattle.
“Eleven individuals have gone missing in the landslide,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Nabaraj Malla.
The landslide was triggered by heavy rains that had continued for a week in the district. Seventy-nine-year-old Gowa Singh Rai, a survivor who was rescued on Sunday afternoon, recalled hearing a loud bang before the landslide tumbled down, injuring his hands and head, the police quoted him saying.
“It was sudden and there was no time to respond before I got injured,” he said. Gowa Singh’s house is buried while he is critically injured.
The injured were yet to be taken to hospital on Sunday evening since the remote village is about a 12-hour walk from the district headquarters and is not connected with a road network. The rains that continued the whole day on Sunday have made it all the harder for rescuers to respond.
Personnel from Sisuwa and Tamku police posts reached the disaster site, and by Sunday evening, had moved 349 people in the village to makeshift shelters in Chitre, a two-hour walk from Besinda, according to DSP Malla. A 60-member team of security personnel from the district headquarters was due to reach the disaster site.
Bad weather has interrupted helicopter rescues, said Jiwan Prasad Acharya, the chief district officer. “Helicopters are ready to fly from Itahari but there is poor visibility due to continuous rains and mist,” Acharya said.
“If the weather permits, rescue flights will take off early on Monday.”