Flood and landslide dam river threatening Darchula villagesFifteen families are at risk of inundation, local people say.
Flood and landslide debris carried by Naugad river, Khar and other rivulets have formed a dam in the Dovan area of Naugad Rural Municipality since Thursday, putting nearby settlements at risk of floods.
Security personnel and local people have been making efforts to channelise water from the dam that has formed at the confluence of Naugad river and Khar stream in Ward No.3 of the rural municipality.
According to the local people, the dam is 100 metres wide and around 400 metres long.
“Our settlement is at risk of being swept away by the dam water. Our attempts to channelise water from the dam have been in vain since the area has been witnessing continuous rainfall for the past few days,” said Chandrawati Thagunna, a resident of Ward No. 3 of the rural municipality.
According to her, the local people were trying to manually create an outlet for the accumulated water to flow out.
On Sunday, a joint team of security personnel from Nepal Army, District Police Office and Armed Police Office reached Dovan to channelise water from the dam. The team started work on Monday.
With much effort, the water level in the dam decreased by a few centimetres on Monday, according to the District Police Office in Darchula.
“On Monday, we were able to release some water from the dam. Hopefully, we will be able to completely open the dam in the coming two to three days,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police in Darchula Manohar Prasad Bhatta.
Fifteen families near the Dovan area are at risk of inundation from the newly formed dam.
“We have nowhere to go if the river enters the settlement,” said Thagunna.
On Friday, a team of security personnel and people’s representatives went on a field inspection to Dovan. According to the officials of the District Administration Office, they have been unable to mobilise dozers to open the dam since the roads have been blocked by landslides.
“It is not possible to take a dozer there so the security personnel are using available resources to break the dam,” said Chief District Officer in Darchula Siddhraj Joshi.
On July 9, three people, including two persons of the same family, were killed in a landslide in Naugad Rural Municipality. A half-dozen families in the local unit are still awaiting relief and relocation.
According to the District Disaster Management Committee, landslides and flood-related incidents have become a frequent occurrence in Naugad in the last few years.
“The District Administration Office in Darchula has also requested people living near riverbank areas to stay alert until the water level in the dam decreases,” said Prem Singh Thagunna, a resident of Khar in Naugad Rural Municipality.