• Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Monsoon mayhem continues


 Kathmandu, July 3: Floods, landslides and heavy rains have affected 147 families and caused around Rs. 61.18 million in damages since April 14.

The data released by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) on Saturday shows that the country has had 63 landslides, 15 floods and 43 instances of torrential rain since the start of this Nepali year which have killed a total of 17 people and injured 20.

From 10 am Friday to 10 am Saturday in particular, the country recorded one death due to a mudslide, as per the NDRRMA. The land in Bidin, Phalelung Rural Municipality–7, Panchthar, gave way and swept away a house and shed. A 42-year-old man, perhaps a resident of the house, was found dead while another 38-year-old woman and 19-year-old girl are missing. 

A stream in Daskilo, Bhotekoshi Rural Municipality–2, also flooded during the 24-hour period recorded by the Authority, disrupting traffic on the Araniko Highway.

In Bajhang, heavy rain caused the wall of a house in Sutari, Khaptad Chhanna Rural Municipality–5 to collapse, injuring the 13-year-old girl sleeping inside. 

Similarly, rain caused around Rs. 50,000 damages in Jhapa when a house collapsed in Bairathi, Gauradaha Municipality–8.

In Khotang, a landslide has swept a house belonging to Balram Khatri in Dandagaun, Rawa Besi Rural Municipality–6. The slide was triggered by nearly 24 hours of incessant rains from Friday evening to Saturday afternoon.

There were no casualties as there was no one in the house at the time. According to Chiranjeevi Karki, 10 houses in the village are at a high risk of landslide. He told The Rising Nepal that the slide was caused by soil piled up after digging a road in the area.

Meanwhile, our Bajura correspondent reports the plight of the inhabitants of the Dalit settlement in Juwapani, Budhiganga Municipality–9. 

The settlement is at a high risk of landslide and the locals worry that the monsoon will force them to flee their homes. Earth has already started falling from the hills near the area and hitting houses, said local leader Bharat Nepali. 

“Everyone is anxious about how to save their lives in the event of a disaster,” he said.

The residents are worried that the calamity of 12 years ago will repeat itself. On the night of August 12, 2010, a landslide hit the settlement and killed seven people. Despite that tragedy, the authorities did not take any initiative over the past decade to relocate the sett

lement to a safer place, the locals complained. 

“The victims of the 2010 landslide are still languishing, praying for a permanent solution to save their lives,” resident Bhot Chadara said. “This settlement should be relocated immediately as we are vulnerable to landslides,” he added.

“This is a matter of life and death,” he stressed, saying that they had approached the local government multiple times regarding the matter but had received nothing but indifference.

According to the District Administration Office, a request has been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs to relocate the settlement to a safer place. For the meantime though, the District Police Office has asked people to remain vigilant.

Over at Jhapa, even the slightest drizzle inundates one of the district’s largest cities Damak. A lack of drainage means that rainwater gets nowhere to go except inside homes, causing damage to public and private property every year. But now, Damak Municipality has pledged to address it and has also included the issue in its budget for the coming fiscal year. 

Deputy Mayor Regina Bhattarai Prasai said that the local government would draft a master plan for water drainage based on Damak’s geography.

(With inputs from our correspondents in Bajura, Khotang and Damak)

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