GORKHA/DANG, July 5: Massive landslides triggered by incessant rainfall have killed 11 people -- eight in Pyuthan and three in Gorkha district -- over the past two days. The landslides occurred in Gorkha on Tuesday and in Pyuthan on Monday.
The District Police Office (DPO), Gorkha, has identified the deceased as Kaji Maya Gurung, 45, Chin Maya Gurung, 30, and Sandeep Ghale, 15, of Kerauja VDC-3 of the district. The family of the deceased are preparing for final rites in the village.
Three others -- Tungey Gurung, 40 and Ukala Gurung, 40, of Karaunja-4; and Suk Ram Gale, 12, of Karunja-3; sustained critical injuries in the incident. They received primary treatment at health post at Maccha Khola and have been airlifted to Kathmandu through Nepal Army helicopter.
“All the victims were busy repairing a village road when the landslide struck,” said DSP Birendra Thapa of the DPO.
The whole settlement of Keraunja VDC is considered highly prone to landslides. As landslides have hit many areas of the VDC in recent weeks, over 200 households have left their homes and built a temporary shelter in the forest, according to Deepak Gurung, a local.
“Many huge cracks caused by the last year's devastating earthquake have made the VDC highly prone to landslides. Indeed, incidents of landslides have increased dramatically due to the huge cracks coupled with heavy monsoon rains,” he said.
The District Disaster Relief Committee (DDRC) had recommended relocation of 2,214 households of 22 villages in the district. However, hardly any villages have been relocated so far.
Likewise, landslides killed eight people of two families in Rajbara-3 and Puja-3 of Pyuthan district on Monday night. According to the DPO, Pyuthan, five people of the same family died in Rajbara VDC when landslide buried the house of Durga Bahadur Malla. Three others of another family in Puja VDC suffered the same fate, informed the DPO.
Durga Bahadur, his wife Sita, 37, daughters Sushila, 10, four-year-old Sreejana, and two-year-old Lekha have been identified as deceased. “The landslide buried three members of the same family when they were sleeping,” said DSP Ranjeet Singh Rathoor, chief of the DPO.
Similarly, Hom Bahadur Sunar, his wife Khushi, and seven-year-old daughter Seema were killed when the landslide buried their house in Puja VDC.
Walls of the newly constructed 75-meter road just above Sunar's house had crumbled, leading to the unfortunate incident.
The road was constructed by slashing the mountain sides and locals had been raising voices about the landslide risks posed by the road. However, authorities did not take any action, which eventually claimed the lives of three.