The damage done by the Kaligandaki River in Mustang. Photo: Sushilbabu/Republica
District headquarters Jomsom cut off as flood sweeps away homes, apple orchards and roads
KATHMANDU, Aug 13: Saturday's rainfall has triggered the worst flooding in the Kaligandaki River in Mustang in three decades, leaving the roads damaged and the district headquarters cut off from the rest of the nation. The flood has damaged settlements, roads, bridges, and irrigation land throughout the region, said a government official.
After water flow increased to a great extent in Kaligandaki, the main road leading to the district headquarters Jomsom was also damaged, leaving the district headquarters disconnected.
Acting Chief District Officer (CDO) Ramchandra Sharma confirmed that Saturday's rain destroyed the main road linking Mustang to the other parts of the country. Acting CDO Sharma said that an alternate off-road is being prepared for vehicular movement to the district. It had been raining continuously for the past week in Mustang.
“Saturday's rain increased the water level in Kaligandaki, destroying nearby areas,” Sharma said. According to him, this is the worst flood to hit Mustang in three decades.
“Homes, apple orchards, and roads were all swept by the ravaging river,” he said.
The Kaligandaki River in Gharapjhong Rural Municipality- 1 and 2 swept fertile lands in Chairo and Marfa. Mahendra Gauchan, a local, informed Republica that the settlements along Thasang Rural Municipality-3 were entirely swept away.
Gharapjhong Rural Municipality Chief Aash Bahadur Thakali said that the river even changed its course.
“The water of Kaligandaki River flowed through the road where locals used to previously walk,” he said.
Locals are terrified because of the flood. “We don't know when the next flood will hit us,” said Chandra Thakali, adding, “The road we used to travel to Jomsom has now been completely wiped away.”
Locals have warned that if the responsible bodies do not act on time, there is possibility of facing greater damage.
Meteorologist Rajaram Dhakal said, “Rainfall brings snow in the region and when this snow melts, water level rises in the rivers.” He added, “The rainfall this year isn't normal. Global warming and climate change have led to extremely heavy rainfall this year.”
Our correspondents Santosh Pokharel from Pokhara and Sushil Babu Thakali from Mustang contributed to this report.