Incessant rainfall since Tuesday triggers landslides in BajhangLandslides swept away three houses while more than 50 houses are at high risk in several settlements of the district.
Saipal Rural Municipality, a remote local unit in Bajhang district, has been hugely affected due to heavy monsoon rains this season. It has been raining unabated in the area since Tuesday night.
Various settlements in the local unit have been disconnected from road networks as landslides have blocked rural roads and foot trails in more than a dozen places. Landslides have swept away three houses while more than 50 other houses are at high risk. Eleven cattle and three mules have been buried in three separate landslides at wards 2 and 4 of Saipal Rural Municipality since Tuesday.
According to the rural municipality office, the houses belonging to Daljit Bohara and Pyaru Kami in Ward No 2 and Asabhan Rokaya in Ward No 4 were swept away by the landslides.
“Twenty-two houses of Bajhachauka village in Ward No 3 are at risk of being swept away by a landslide that erupted just above the settlement,” said Man Bahadur Bohara, the chairman of Raipal Rural Municipality. “Similarly, multiple landslides have left around 20 other houses at risk in Dalittol, Majhalasi, Jima, Dhalaun and Kakarkot settlements of the same ward.”
The local people are living in abject fear as it has been raining continuously in the area. “The villagers are scared. We haven’t been able to sleep since Tuesday as several landslides have erupted in the rural municipality and it has been raining continuously since then,” said Bam Bahadur Bohara, a school teacher in Kada.
Kaya, Dhuli, Nyuna and Balaudi among other villages have been disconnected from other settlements by landslides. Similarly, landslides have swept away roads in Dhalaun and Kakarkot.
“We don’t know the number of landslides that have erupted in the rural municipality since Tuesday,” said Gorakh Bohara of Saipal-3. “There is not a single village that has not been affected by the landslides. Almost all the roads and foot trails in the villages have been swept away.”
According to him, dozens of domesticated animals that were left in the pasture lands are trapped in the landslides.
Likewise, floods and landslides have damaged three micro hydropower projects in Saipal, leaving around 300 households in darkness. Gadaghatta Microhydro Power Project, Kayakhola Micro Hydro Power Project and Jima Micro Hydro Power Project have sustained damages in the disaster. According to the rural municipality office, the flooded Kayakhola also swept away two water mills in Saipal.
“We are yet to assess the damage caused by water-induced disasters. There could be further damage and destruction since it is still raining in the area,” said the rural municipality chief. “Saipal has not seen a disaster of this scale in decades. The local unit has been concentrating its efforts on rescue and relief of the affected people.”
In Mugu, incessant rainfall since Tuesday night caused flooding in the area, disrupting vehicular movement along the Nagma-Gamgadhi road section in Bistawada, Sinja Rural Municipality-2. According to Tirtha Woda, chairman of Sinja-2, the road section blocked by floodwaters from the Bistawada river cannot be opened anytime soon. Similarly, roads in Narakot of Sinja-3 have also been blocked due to floods in the Hima river.
In Darchula, incessant rainfall on Tuesday night swept away the Thuladhungi bridge in Apihimal Rural Municipality-4. Students of Saraswati Basic School in Markhola have since been facing problems attending school in the absence of a bridge.
According to Jaibhan Singh Dhami, a local resident, students have to take risks to attend school during the rainy season due to floods and landslides.
With inputs from local reporters.