Swollen Bhotekoshi sweeps away 21 houses, hundreds at risk

Published On: July 7, 2016 01:10 AM NPT By: DHRUBA DANGAL

  • Biggest flood in Bhotekoshi River in the last 35 years, no human casualty
  • Transportation and communication cut off in flood-hit Tatopani area

JAMBU, July 7: A sudden flood in Bhotekoshi River on Tuesday night swept away at least 21 houses of Tatopani area in Sindhupalchowk district along Nepal-China border, leaving hundreds of people in the lurch. However, no human casualties were recorded as of Wednesday evening.

Incessant rainfall since the last few days had triggered the biggest flood in the river in 35 years, according to the locals.

The swollen Bhotekoshi poses high risk to 200 houses in the Tatopani area, which was badly devastated by last year's catastrophic earthquake. The quake-hit areas that had just clawed back to normalcy are reeling under crisis once again after Tuesday night's deluge.   

The flood in Bhotekoshi River has swept away embankments of local hydropower project, a suspension bridge, Tatopani-based Mansarobar Boarding School, four sugar mills, other physical infrastructure and vehicles. The concrete bridge on Tatopani-Barhabise road section, highways and local markets are highly vulnerable to the overflowing river.

Although the local administration is yet to collect the exact data of the extent of damage, Chief District Officer (CDO) Gokarna Duwadi said that the sudden flood has caused huge loss of physical infrastructure.

“Transportation and communication has been cut off with the flood-hit Tatopani area,” CDO Duwadi told Republica. “The damage may be much more than this.”

A total of 15 houses at Liping Bus Park area of Tatopani have disappeared in the river, according to the CDO. The flood is still eroding the houses located on the banks of Bhotekoshi River.

Barhabise, the oldest business center of the district, is also at high risk from the flood.

Locals had remained terrified throughout the night with the sudden rise in the level of Bhotekoshi River. The authorities had alerted the locals and urged them to move to safer places, thus avoiding human casualties.

Meanwhile, a team of lawmakers led by Home Minister Shakti Basnet on Wednesday monitored the flood-affected areas of Sindhupalchowk through a helicopter. Although they could not land on the affected site due to bad weather condition, they closely observed the region.  

CDO Duwadi briefed about the situation to Home Minister Basnet at Barhabise-based army barracks. The minister directed the CDO to arrange for immediate rescue and relief works in the flood-hit areas. 

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