Rise in water level of Mahakali river puts several settlements at risk of floodingRural roads in Darchula district have been disrupted due to floods and landslides triggered by heavy rainfall.
The water level in the Mahakali river has risen following incessant rains for the past three days, raising fears of floods and inundation in nearby settlements.
“The water level in the river is increasing day by day, as it hasn’t stopped raining. The river has breached the temporary embankment in several places,” said Gaji Karki, a resident of Dattu in Darchula.
According to the Police Post in Dattu, the water level in the river is inching closer to crossing the danger level marked at six metres. Security personnel said the river’s water level is already at 5.8 metres.
The authorities have rebuilt the embankments in Khalanga swept away by the flooded Mahakali in 2013 to prevent floods in the district headquarters but a majority of settlements along the Mahakali river are protected only by temporary embankments.
According to the District Natural Disaster Management Centre, riverside settlements such as Dumling, Battibagad, Malaghatya, Naji, Tigram, Shribagad, Dhap, Dattu, Uku, and Lali are at high risk of floods.
The District Administration Office has urged people living near river banks to stay on high alert. Chief District Officer Siddaraj Joshi said various settlements outside Khalanga are at risk with the increase of water level in the Mahakali river.
“We have asked people to stay alert since the possibility of floods in the Mahakali and other streams in the district is high. Security personnel are also kept on stand by for possible emergencies,” said Joshi.
Meanwhile, all rural roads in Darchula district have been disrupted due to floods and landslides triggered by heavy rainfall. According to the District Police Office, vehicular movement along the Khar-Khalanga, Darchula-Tinkar and Bitule-Paribagad road sections is disrupted due to multiple landslides.
“Security personnel have been deployed to clear the landslide debris and resume vehicular movement,” said Narendra Bahadur Chand, the information officer at the District Police Office.
In Tikapur of Kailali district, the rain-swollen Karnali river has started eroding land on both sides of the river. According to the local residents, the river is eroding the land not protected by permanent embankments.
Nirmala Kadayat, a resident of Tikapur, said various settlements in wards 7, 8, and 9 of Tikapur Municipality are at risk of floods. According to her, the river is eroding land at Bhurakhani, Daulatpur and Satti Karnali Community Forest. “The local people are worried, fearing possible floods in the settlement,” she added.
The water level has increased significantly in the Karnali river since the area has witnessed continuous rainfall in the past few days. This has put the Satti Karnali Community Forest area at risk of erosion, as the embankment construction work in the area is yet to be completed.
“The contractor cut down trees but left the work incomplete. As a result, the river is eroding the forest land,” said Dhan Singh Saud, the chairman of the community forest users’ group.
(Ganesh Chaudhary contributed reporting from Tikapur.)