Rain-induced disasters kill seven

Published On: July 3, 2018 06:05 AM NPT By: Republica

Dozens of settlements across country at high risk 

KATHMANDU, July 2: Disasters caused by incessant rainfall since the past few days left seven people dead on Monday. Three of the dead were in Rolpa and four in Banke.

Landslides triggered by incessant rainfall killed three people including a newborn in Sabang of Runtigadhi Rural Municipality-5, Rolpa district. Their home collapsed in the landslide, burying the victims in the debris.

Raj Kumar BK’s house collapsed and his wife Kamala BK, 22, and 18-day-old daughter Ayusha were among the deceased. The landslide also claimed the life of their neighbor’s daughter Chitra BK, 15, according to police.

The victims were huddling around the fire in the kitchen to keep themselves warm during the rainfall when the landslide buried them without warning. Kamala was rescued alive, but she breathed her last on the way to Holeri primary health center, informed Rolpa police spokesperson Sudarshan Panthi.

Ward chairman Balaram Budha, who reached the site of the incident, said immediate relief would be provided to the families of the victims.

“We will immediately provide Rs 25,000 for each of the dead for funeral rites. We have also taken responsibility for food and shelter for the affected families,” said Budha. “Other measures will be taken at our council meeting.”

Meanwhile in Banke, floods triggered by torrential rainfall claimed four lives, including that of two children. According to District Police Office (DPO) Banke, two people from Baijanath Rural Municipality and one each from Khohalpur Municipality and Duduwa Rural Municipality lost their lives.

The deceased have been identified as Tularam Budha, 65, Lok Bahadur Sunar, 35, both from Baijanath-5, four-year-old Ranjit Pasi of Gauwagau, Kohalpur, and another four-year-old, Rima Kumari Yadav of Daduwa-2, informed the DPO.

“Sunar was washed away by the Jwalipur canal and Budha by Jethi canal,” said Superintendent of Police Tek Bahadur Tamang. “They were attempting to cross the river. The bodies have been recovered.”

A bus swept away by the flooded Tawangkhola River in western part of Dang district on Monday. No one was injured.  Photo Courtesy: Balaram Khadka/Rss

Incessant rainfall has inundated many places in Banke. Roads are flooded, affecting traffic flows. According to police, houses in Nepalgunj, Khajura, Janaki, Rapti Sonari, Nairanpura, Daduwa and other places have been inundated. Security personnel have been deployed in the affected areas for rescue work.

Likewise, floods have also caused damage to the Postal Highway. Locals said various sections of the highway have sustained severe damage.

The local administration has issued flood warnings after increased water levels in the Rapti River. According to Kusum-based flood measurement center, the river’s water level reached 4.7 meters as of Monday evening.

“We have requested settlements near the river to stay alert,” said Khagendra Paudel, information officer at District Administration Office, Banke.

Dozens of people in Khotang district have taken shelter in school houses out of fear of floods and landslides. Seven household families of Jalapa have shifted to safer locations as the rainfall continues.

Likewise, the increase in water level in the Tinaun river in Rupandehi district has triggered fears of flooding in nearby settlements. Nearly 4,000 households near the river are exposed to great risk. Various places in Butwal, including Buddha Nagar, Shrijana Nagar, Pragati Nagar, Sundar Nagar, Pabitra Nagar and Majhuwa areas are exposed to potential flooding.

“I have not had proper sleep since the rains started,” said Sumitra Bishawkarma of Pabitra Nagar, who only recently completed building a new house at the spot where her old house was washed away by floods two years ago.

The water levels in Rupandehi’s Tinaun, Kancha, Danab, Rohini, Ghodaha, Danda and Bagela rivers have increased significantly. The rivers pose a great risk of soil erosion in nearby settlements. The local administration has requested the settlements to stay alert.

The rivers have already started inundating Marchawar and Lumbini areas. While settlements to the north are at risk of flooding, inundation is also a big problem for settlements in the south. Marchawari Rural Municipality Chairman Keshav Baniya informed that they have allocated a budget of Rs 5 million for flood rescue and relief.

Drainage problems caused by development projects have led to inundation in Biratnagar. Lack of proper management of under-construction projects before the start of the monsoon has led to the current suffering. Other places in Morang district are also suffering a similar fate.

(Dinesh Subedi from Rolpa, Arun Oli from Nepalgunj, and Binod Pariyar from Rupandehi contributed to the report)

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