Thirty-six homes washed away in Bhotekoshi flood, 20 individuals still missingThe swollen Bhotekoshi also swept away bridges and road sections on the Araniko Highway, complicating relief efforts.
Phurpa Tamang woke up on Thursday night to his house trembling and his roof collapsing on his family of five. It was around 2.30 in the morning and Tamang saw that flood waters from the nearby Bhotekoshi were fast entering his home. In a matter of minutes, Tamang’s entire house, along with his 74-year-old father, his 12-year-old son, his wife and nephew, were all swept away.
“The flood entered our house and immediately washed away everything in sight, including my family,” said 43-year-old Tamang, a resident of Barkute in Bhotekoshi Rural Municipality. “When the water receded, I was the only one left clinging to a wooden beam, which is all that’s left of my house.”
Thirty-six houses, including Tamang’s, were swept away by the rain-swollen Bhotekoshi river in Sindhupalchok district on Thursday. Twenty individuals have gone missing, said police. Among the missing, 16 are from Barhabise Municipality while four are from Tamang’s family.
The river swept away 20 houses in Khagdal, 14 in Jambu, and two houses in Barkute, according to police.
Deputy Superintendent Madhav Prasad Kafle said that settlements in Gati Jambu, Khagdal and Barkute are among the worst-affected by the flood.
“Until Thursday evening, only two bodies had been recovered from the riverside. Twenty people are still missing,” said Kafle.
Locals and personnel from the Nepal Army and Nepal Police are searching the river for the missing individuals.
Forty-year-old Prakash Tamang, a tipper driver, took shelter from the rain in Kukhure, along the Kodari Highway, last night and did not make it home until the morning. When he came home, his 39-year-old wife and three-year-old son were missing.
“My house in Jambu was swept away by the flood last night and the Bhotekoshi took away my wife and son with it,” said Prakash. “I have lost everything and have nowhere to go. I can only hope for my wife and son’s safe return.”
The flooded Bhotekoshi also swept away roads and bridges at Dam, Jure, Sadhikholcha, Khagdal, Jambu, Barhabise and Jaletar, among other areas, affecting the lives of thousands in the area.
“Every year we face the same problem. We don’t know where to go,” said Subash Shrestha, a Khagdal local who lost his house in the flood. “My family is all I have left now. We lost everything. There’s no food to eat or a roof to take shelter under. We are cut off from Jambu and Barhabise since some sections of Araniko Highway have also been severely damaged.”
Nawaraj Neupane, inspector at the Sindhupalchok Area Police Office, said that locals and volunteers had started transporting food grains as relief to Khagdal and Jambu via rural roads given the damage to the Araniko Highway.
“Relief efforts have also been affected since major road sections are damaged. It already takes at least three hours to reach Khagdal from Tatopani via the highway,” said Neupane
Five injured—three from Jambu bazaar and two from Barkute—were airlifted to Kathmandu and are receiving treatment in various hospitals, according to Kafle.
“Two of the injured are in critical conditions,” he said.