BARA, April 3: With tears in his eyes and pain in his heart, Faisul Hak Miya Thakurai, 45, of Purainiya, Feta Rural Municipality-6, was found gazing at his destroyed home on Monday. A violent rainstorm which lashed the southern parts of the country on Sunday evening did not only flatten his house but also killed two members of his family.
His wife Mustakima Khatun and daughter-in-law Gulabsa Khatun were inside the house when the rainstorm swept into their village. "I had just reached Haripur heading towards Jitpur, when I heard that my house was destroyed by the rainstorm," said Faisul with a gloomy face, adding, "When I rushed back home at around 9 pm, the dead bodies of my wife and daughter-in-law were lying outside."
His only son Rais Alam is currently abroad for employment. Though the rainstorm killed dozens across the district, Purainiya has the highest death toll so far. Altogether nine persons including two children died in Purainiya alone.
Meanwhile, Ijhar Miya Ansari of the same village lost four members of his family in Sunday's disaster. Seventy years old Ijhar has not been able to even speak after losing his loved ones. He was in Jamuniya of Kathariya Municipality when his family members were crushed under their own home following the dangerous rainstorm. He found about the death of his loved ones only on Monday.
His wife Mina Khatun, 60, daughter-in-law Sakima Khatun, 35, granddaughters Samsida Khatun, 12 and Rokshar Khatun were killed in the rainstorm. His son Sahbudin Ansari who was unconscious was rescued by police and rushed to Kalaiya Hospital. He was later referred to Narayani Sub-Regional Hospital in Birgunj.
It did not even take two minutes for the rainstorm to reduce houses to rubble. "It came like a fire and blew everything within two minutes," said Safi Mohammad, 72, of Purainiya, adding, "Later when I opened my eyes, houses had collapsed and infrastructures were destroyed." According to him, he had never experienced anything like that in his entire life.
This village has a majority of Muslim community and all of the deceased are Muslims. Villagers had to stay in the dark for the whole night as the storm snapped electricity and telephone lines. This also affected the rescue work.
In Purainiya, crying women, dead cattle, devastated houses were the common sight on Monday. Some villagers were found collecting the debris while most were seen contemplating and crying. The rainstorm even damaged the crops and vegetables in the fields.There were electric poles, transformers, wires, leaves and stones scattered in the middle of the roads. Those who were rendered homeless wandered from place to place for managing food and shelter. "As the rescue work could not be conducted effectively, the victims may have to sleep on empty stomachs," laments Safir Alam.A team led by Chief Minister of Province 3 Dormani Paudel reached Purainiya at around 2 pm on Monday. At a time when the victims are expecting relief and consolation, people from neighboring villages have gathered here to mock their misery. People clicking photos and taking selfies in front of victims and their damaged houses have added to their grief.