KATHMANDU, Aug. 26: A total of 1,037 people have lost their lives in the last five years in floods and landslides while 534 have gone missing. Likewise, the number of injured is exactly the same with that of missing ones, the Ministry of Home said.
As per the records, 480 people lost their lives in floods and 557 in landslides since 2069/070 BS. Similarly, 341 people have gone missing in the floods and 193 in landslides.
The report reveals that 45 people died in Bardiya, 34 in Surkhet, 31 in Dang, 23 in Morang, 24 in Banke, 20 in Sindhuli, 18 in Rautahat, 15 in Sunsari while 13 each in Sarlahi and Nawaparasi, 12 each in Udayapur and Saptari, 11 each in Makawanpur and Kalikot, 10 in Jhapa and nine in Kathmandu.
The Ministry said that 97 people are missing in Surkhet, the highest among the affected districts. Heavy floods in 2071 BS had taken its toll on many people in Surkhet, Bardiya and Dang districts causing loss of nearly Rs 15 billion, the Ministry said.
Likewise, altogether 557 people died and 193 were missing in the landslides during the period. According to the Ministry, property worth more than Rs 4.62 billion was damaged by the landslides.
The Ministry said that landslides claimed the highest lives at 53 in Taplejung district followed by Sindhupalchowk (50) and Kaski (44). Similarly, 25 people died in Gulmi, 18 in Sankhuwasabha, 17 in Palpa, 14 each in Dolakha and Ilam, and 12 in Nuwakot districts.
During the period, 123 people have gone missing in Sindhupalchowk district while the number of people missing in landslides stood 11 and 6 respectively in Dolakha and Sankhuwasabha districts.
The five-year data also shows that floods lead to more destruction of physical structures while the human casualty is high in landslides. 'The installation of an early warning system in the major rivers of the country is also declining the number of deaths from floods, says Home Ministry Spokesperson Ram Krishna Subedi. The three security agencies—Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force also have dedicated units to act for rescue and relief in times of a disaster.
Meanwhile, the ministry has developed a draft of the bill relating to disaster management, and will soon be tabled before the parliament through the cabinet, Subedi said.
The weak landscape of the hilly regions of Nepal has further deteriorated following the 2015 earthquake and haphazard construction of roads without proper engineering and topography study have also led to rise in the incidents of landslides. Exploitation of the Chure region, cloud burst and failure of the state to come up with an effective soil-use policy is increasing the damage to life and property in disasters every year.
Furthermore, the unilateral construction of dams on the bordering region by the Indian side is making matters worse for the people living in the tarai belt of the country.
This monsoon alone 157 people lost their lives due to floods since heavy rainfall hit the major parts of the country since mid-August. Twenty-nine people are still unaccounted for, according to the Home Ministry. A total of 43,406 houses were completely damaged, 158,194 suffered partial damage while 100,481 people were displaced by floods and landslides this year. RSS