55 people who had gone to collect herbs missing due to heavy snowfall

Published On: February 6, 2022 10:38 AM NPT By: DB BUDHA

JUMLA, Feb 6: As many as 55 people of Topla village of Tatopani Rural Municipality-8 of Jumla have gone out of contact due to heavy snowfall since Thursday. Two have died of asphyxiation. They had entered the Patan area to collect herbs and have since lost contact with anyone.   Locals suspect that they might have been living in Gagri Odhar and Aidi Odhar of Patan.

Tatopani Rural Municipality Chairman Nawaraj Neupane confirmed that 55 people have not been in contact with them since Thursday. "We have not been able to establish communication with them," he said. But the people who returned home after the snow have informed locals that they are living in two shelters. Accordingly, a helicopter is being sent from Surkhet to rescue them. As they might have been starving, they are taking cylinders, fire, rice and dry food in the helicopter. Stakeholders have been urged to rescue the victims without further delay.

According to locals, two of the dead have been taken home. Chief Administrative Officer of Tatopani Rural  Milan Budha Thapa stressed the need for joint rescue. They have appealed to all to help in rescue and relief efforts.

Chief District Officer Bijaya Kumari Prasai said that the locals have requested for delivery of food immediately as the shelter is safe and there is an acute shortage of food. She said, "Helicopters are ready to fly from Surkhet with necessary food items for them."

Locals have claimed that they couldn't return because of heavy snow. Locals say they are safe. "The rescue operation will be carried out in case the helicopter can land," she told Republica. “If landing is not possible, necessary arrangements have been made to at least supply the stranded people with food.” Rescue work will continue. The missing locals had reached Patan area to collect a herb called ‘Setak Chini’.

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