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Monsoon regains strength, flood warnings issued



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By Aashish Mishra
Kathmandu, July 18: With the monsoon regaining strength from Saturday thanks to the low pressure line coming close to the Terai region and water vapour-laden winds blowing in from the Bay of Bengal, the country once again faces a heightened risk of floods and inundation.
The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) has asked people living near the Narayani and Koshi rivers and their tributaries including Kaligandaki, Budhigandaki, Marsyangdi, Trishuli, Sunkoshi, Bhotekoshi, Tamakoshi, Arun and Tamor to remain alert till Tuesday as the water in these rivers is expected to reach the danger level.
Similarly, it has also issued warnings for the Mahakali, Karnali, Bheri, Tinau, Rapti and Babai rivers because it believes that the water in these rivers will rise above the danger level in the coming days.
In line with the DHM’s warnings, the District Administration Office of Saptari has also urged families living along the banks of the Saptakoshi, Triyuga, Mahuli, Khandau Balan and Jita rivers to watch out for floods. It has also asked people living around other smaller streams and rivulets of the district to remain vigilant.
Chief District Officer Jaynarayan Acharya said that heavy rains were in the forecast for the district for the next few days which could cause the rivers to break their banks. “So, we have asked the people living near water bodies to be careful,” he said.
Every monsoon, the areas of Gobargadha, Hanuman Nagar, Bhardaha, Fatehpur, Rampura, Malhaniya, Dalwa, Tilathi, Koiladi, Lalapati and Sakarpura get inundated because of Indian dams that prevent the water of Saptari’s rivers from flowing out.
Over in Nawalpur (Nawalparasi East), the flooded Khani River has eroded the earth below settlements in Bakkhor, Hupsekot Rural Municipality–5, causing land subsidence and damaging 18 houses. A further 13 homes are at risk of collapse.
To prevent loss of life, teams from the District Police Office of Nawalpur and the Armed Police Force Chormara security base were deployed to Bakkhor to rescue the inhabitants. Altogether, 39 women and 32 men were rescued and taken to the Janata Secondary School in Jukepani, the police informed.
Meanwhile, as per the daily bulletin issued by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA), monsoon-induced disasters killed one person and injured one other on Saturday.
A landslide which fell on a tractor and a JCB bulldozer in Palpa at Dumre, Tinau Rural Municipality, killed 27-year-old Mahendra Pun and injured 20-year-old Saroj Budha. Pun worked as a labourer on the tractor and Budha was the driver of the JCB.
Likewise, 30-year-old Bijay Gurung has gone missing after being swept away by a vertical river, colloquially called Thado Khola, at Ghattekhola, Tsum Numbri Rural Municipality–3, Gorkha.

(With inputs from our Nawalparasi and Saptari correspondents)