Three killed, hundreds displaced as rains wreak havoc in Bhaktapur

Published On: July 12, 2018 09:02 PM NPT By: KULCHAND PHOMBO  | @@kulchandphombo

BHAKTAPUR, July 12: Three people of a family were killed while over 50 families were displaced by inundation caused by torrential rainfall in the district on Wednesday morning.

The deceased have been identified as Hira Lama, 70, Pan Maya Lama, 65, and two and a half years old Sampada Lama of Changunarayan Municipality-7, according to Chief District Officer (CDO) Narayan Prasad Bhatta of Bhaktapur district.

They were buried to death after their house was smashed by their neighbor’s house that caved in due to heavy rainfall.

Meanwhile, a meeting of Bhaktapur District Disaster Management Committee held today decided to provide Rs 301,000 to the family of the deceased (Rs 100,000 each and Rs 10,000 for the construction of their house). Similarly, a house at Aashapuri of Suryabinayek Municipality also collapsed due to incessant rains. 

When asked about a contingent spot to be used for emergency evacuation, CDO Bhatta said there is no fixed place for the purpose but the open spaces in Kharipati, Changunarayan and Tathali could be used for the emergency purpose.

According to Bhatta, the flood victims have been kept on the premises of the municipalities as there is no fixed area allocated for the rehabilitation of the flood victims for the time being.

When asked about a contingent spot to be used for emergency evacuation, CDO Bhatta said there is no fixed place for the purpose but the open spaces in Kharipati, Changunarayan and Tathali could be used for the emergency purpose.

Following the incessant rainfall, the Hanumante River surged up and entered the human settlements, causing mayhem mostly in the low lying areas including Thimi, Radheradhe and Srijana Chowk. On both sides of Arniko Highway from Thimi area to Srijana Chowk and from Chardobato to the way leading to Balkot were also waterlogged due to floods.

In response to the natural disaster, Bhaktapur District District Administration Office,deployed a rescue team manned by Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, Nepal Army and representatives from local units and political parties in the incident site.

Locals who were trapped in the waterlogged houses were rescued by the security personnel by using inflatable rescue boats. The overflowing Hanumante River entered the human settlements including shops and stores. "A total of 300 sacks of cements were destroyed after the floods entered my storage", moaned a local of Thimi area.

The water level accumulated up to four feet from the land surface, forcing the shops and stores to close. Hundreds of families have been displaced as the swollen Hanumante River and Khasyang Khusung advanced and innundated the settlement near Radheradhe.

A team comprising lawmakers of Baktapur district, Chief District Officer, representatives from local units, political parties and District Disaster Management Committee, security personnel took stock of the flooded areas before holding a meeting later in the afternoon.

CDO Bhatta further shared that a meeting of the DDMC decided to distribute floods relief to the victims through a one-door system, requesting those  willing to extent supports  to hand over the alms to local units.

Similarly, the meeting also formed a technical panel to make a thorough study of the possible challenges to be posed by the disasters and suggest measures to be adopted to preempt the disaster-induced threats in the future. The necessary equipments will be arranged and the rivers – Hanumante which begins from Tathali, Khasyangkhusung from Nagarkot and Manohara from Sankhu – will be properly channelized as a solution to the disaster-induced problems.

According to Bhatta, today’s meeting did not come up with exact loss of property details. He could only say around 50-60 families have been displaced by today’s floods. The respective local units will present the reports of property loss and those displaced by it at the District Administration Office, Bhaktapur tomorrow.

When asked about the challenges of the floods in Bhaktpur, Lawmaker Prem Suwal pointed out heavy rain falls, lack of channelization of the rivers, and their encroachment are the major threat to the inundation.

He suggested that the the Hanumante and Khasyangkhusung rivers should at least be 20 meters wide whereas Bagmati and Bishnumati should be 80 meters wide.

An investigation should be carried out to find out whether the rivers are really encroached and the issue should be resolved accordingly. 

According to Meteorologist Shanti Kandel, a total of 93.6 millimeters of rainfall was gauged in the Kathmandu Valley in the last 24 hours – highest in 16 years. However, this measurement does not indicate the exact amount of last night's rainfall in Bhaktapur -the amount might go even higher.

Earlier in 2002, a total of 177 millimeters of rainfall had been marked in the capital.


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