BIRATNAGAR, June 30: The incessant rain for the past two days has wreaked havoc in Province 1. Floods and river erosion have created panic in the plain region of Province-1 whereas landslides have caused damage in the hill areas.
Floods and landslides have caused damage especially in four districts of Province 1 - Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari and Udayour. The incessant rains since Monday night have not stopped and these districts continue to be hit by floods and landslides. More than 1,000 houses have been inundated due to floods in various rivers of Morang.
According to the District Administration Office, Morang, more than 4,000 people have been displaced. However, as the water level receded, many people have returned home, said Kashiraj Dahal, chief district officer (CDO) of Morang. More than 600 families and 2,500 people have been rescued and kept in safe places including temples, hospices and schools.
So far, one person has died after being swept away by a river in Morang. According to CDO Dahal, relief and rescue work was carried out a bit easily on Wednesday due to less rain than on Tuesday. He said that the floods have caused a lot of damage especially in the settlements along the rivers. Residents of wards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 12, 16 and 19 of Biratnagar Metropolitan City have been affected by the floods in Singiya and Keshliya rivers.
Similarly, the floods in Chisang, Bakraha and other rivers of Morang have caused erosion and inundation in Ratuwamai, Sunvarshi, Rangeli and Gramthan. The District Administration Office, Morang, with the help of security personnel and local municipalities, is working to prevent the rivers from overflowing, said Mahesh Raj Timsina, assistant CDO of Morang. Timsina said that relief materials including food and blankets are being collected and distributed to those displaced by the floods. The metropolis has closed schools for three days as the streets of Biratnagar are waterlogged due to floods and inundation after incessant rains.
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 people from more than 200 families have been displaced due to floods in various rivers in Jhapa, said Assistant Chief District Officer of Jhapa, Rudra Prasad Neupane. According to him, the displaced have been kept safely in local schools, temples and other places. "As the rains have not stopped yet, we urge those living along the riverbanks, those at the risk of drowning and erosion, to be vigilant around the clock and stay safe," Neupane said. He added that 1,200 chickens of a poultry farm in Jhapa were destroyed due to the floods. Erosion control work has also been started in the erosion-prone areas to protect the surrounding settlements. Neupane said that rescue and relief distribution has been started with the help of security agencies, Nepal Red Cross and local bodies.
According to the District Administration Office, Udayapur, floods and landslides have caused a lot of damage in the district. Chief District Officer of Udayapur, Birendra Kumar Yadav, said that the Baruwa Khola of Udayapur is rapidly eroding the embankment near the district headquarters Gaighat. According to him, it is necessary to stop the erosion immediately as the embankment is in danger due to the erosion by the river.
Floods in Tengra, Sukumari and Kheti rivers of Itahari have destroyed houses in wards 2, 3, 8, 5 and 9.
More than 150 houses were flooded in Itahari on Tuesday and Wednesday due to heavy rains, said police. Due to the rain, Itahari Sub-metropolis has decided to close all schools till July 1.
Continuous rains in Barahakshetra wards 1, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 11 have inundated some houses and some settlements are at high risk of floods. The Saptakoshi River becomes the sorrow of the citizens of Barahakshetra every monsoon.
Where is the government?
In the provincial assembly of Province 1 on Wednesday, the assembly members demanded immediate river control, erosion prevention, and relief and rescue, saying that many districts including Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari and Udayapur have witnessed heavy damage due to floods, landslides, river erosion and inundation. Speaking during the zero hour of the provincial assembly, assembly member Ambika Thapa said, "Where is the government at a time when the people are suffering from floods?" She demanded that the government immediately make public what it is doing for the flood, landslide and inundation victims. She said, “People are suffering. Is the government doing anything for the rescue and relief of flood victims? Let the House be informed.” Provincial Assembly Member Kul Prasad Samba demanded relief for those affected by the floods and landslides triggered by incessant rains. He demanded the government control the erosion of the Bakraha River in the northern part of Morang.