18 bodies recovered from Lidi landslide; 21 are still missingOne hundred and thirty-five displaced families are staying in Lapsedanda.
Search team retrieved seven more bodies from the landslide-struck Lidi village in Jugal Rural Municipality-2, Sindhupalchok, on Saturday.
Bodies of 18 villagers have been recovered from the site of Friday’s landslide as of late Saturday afternoon while 21 villagers remain missing, officials said.
According to Superintendent of Police Prajjwal Maharjan, bodies of 10 children, four women and four men were recovered from the incident site as of Saturday.
Their final rites were performed on Saturday itself.
A team of 55 security personnel from the Nepal Army, the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force is involved in the search operation.
Maharjan said the search operation has been slow as the team could not bring excavators because the road leading to the village has been disrupted by floods and landslides.
"We have intensified the search despite bad weather. There is a risk of landslide in the area as it has been drizzling," said Maharjan.
The landslide hit the village on Friday morning which destroyed 17 houses and damaged 37 others. Six people were injured in the disaster. One of the critically injured women is receiving treatment in Civil Hospital in Kathmandu while four others are admitted in Sindhupalchok District Hospital in Chautara. A nine-year-old boy was discharged from the district hospital on Saturday.
The landslide also displaced 135 families in the village. They are taking shelter in Lapsedanda, near their settlement. The District Natural Disaster Management Committee and Red Cross have provided them with tents and food stuff as immediate relief.
The displaced villagers, however, said that they didn’t have drinking water and enough food.
"We don't have drinking water, enough food supplies and medicines. Pregnant women, children, the elderly and the sick have been deprived of treatment and nutritious food," said Sunlal Tamang, one of the landslide survivors.
He said the locals who lost their relatives in the landslide were affected the most.
"We had been running here and there for five years for safe shelter after the earthquake left the settlement at high risk of landslide. The government knew about our plight only after we lost our relatives in the landslide. The government is making us live under tents and tarpaulin sheets now," Tamang said.
The rural municipality on Friday made public a name list of 38 people who had died or gone missing in the landslide. However, Pratap Lama, the ward chairman, informed the police that one Kabir Dong, who was not on the list, was also missing.
The local people say that Friday's disaster could have been avoided had the authorities listened to their concerns. As many as 170 families in the area had submitted separate memorandum to the District Natural Disaster Management Committee, the District Administration Office and the local unit on August 7, mentioning about the landslide risk in their settlement. They had also urged the authorities to relocate them to a safer location.
Chief District Officer Umesh Kumar Dhakal said the district administration did not relocate the settlement as the technical team of National Reconstruction Authority had inspected the village after the 2015 earthquake and listed Lidi as "yellow zone" and not as "red zone".
The villagers had gone to Baskharka area in Jugal-1 a month ago with a plan to stay in the forest area, fearing a landslide in their settlement. But soon they were turned away by the forest authority.
Chief Minister of Bagmati Province Dormani Paudel, along with other provincial ministers and lawmakers, visited the landslide survivors on Saturday.
"We will work towards building safe housing for all the people living in the landslide-prone area," Paudel assured the landslide survivors.
Paudel's team also distributed blankets and food items to the landslide survivors.