By Sachin Pokharel/Bhotraj Rai
Belaka (Udayapur), Aug. 4: One thousand and five hundred families have been displaced after the flooded Saptakoshi River entered human settlements by breaking the embankment of Dumribot in Belaka Municipality-8 in Udayapur district.
Human settlements in wards 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9 were displaced after the flood inundated them.
A part of the swelled Saptakoshi entered the human settlement at 4 am Wednesday. The locals abandoned the settlements for safe places immediately after the flood entered the villages. A team from the local levels are rescuing the affected families.
Continuous and torrential rains of the past few days have affected normal life, especially in Udayapur, Sunsari and Saptari districts of Province 1.
Following the inundation, villagers of around 1,500 households of Belaka have been shifted to a safe place including community buildings.
Locals administration and the security personnel have intensified the search, rescue and relief operation in the village. Since heavy inundation, the locals have been forced to seek temporary shelter. Security forces from N epal Police, Armed Police Force Nepal and Nepali Army have been on the field for rescue and relief distribution.
Chief District Officer (CDO) Birendra Kumar Yadav said the whole team of the District Disaster Management has been on the field throughout the day for prompt rescue and relief distribution since the disaster hit.
CDO Yadav said that around 900 households have been shifted to a safe place, while the rescue of those stranded has been going on.
Rubber boats, local wooden-made boats, tractors and vehicles of the security bodies have been used for the rescue operation, the CDO said.
Belaka Municipality Mayor Ashok Adhikari said the municipality has to face a huge disaster despite a number of steps taken to avert or mitigate one.
Most of the evacuated locals currently have been taking shelter at the houses of their relatives, while some in schools and community buildings.
Ram Bahadur Rai, one of the flood victims, said that he and his family members had to flee leaving all their belongings except for the clothes on their bodies.
Mayor Adhikari said that so far no human casualty has been reported.
Locals of the village have said that some of the lower belt areas of Saptari and Sunsari have been at high risk of inundation.
The Saptakoshi flood entered Koshi Tappu region following its original route after 34 years. Settlements in Belaka and nearby places were formed after the Koshi River changed its course in 1998.
Meanwhile, Minister for Internal Affairs and Law Minister of Province 1 Kedar Karki and other ministers have visited the flood-affected region of Belaka. Following the inspection visit, Minister Karki assured that not a single flood victim would go hungry. “The province government is committed to ensuring temporary shelters and food for the flood victims along with the rescue and relief works,” Minister Karki said.
Mayor Karki said that locals of Sisaulighat, Dhauri Tappu, Chilime, ABC, Sri Lanka Island, Bhagalpur, Ramnagar were the hardest hit.
It is said that Dhauri Tappu in wards 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9 of Belka, Sri Lanka Island, Bhagalpur, Garaiya, Tapeshwari and other settlements and Saptakoshi and Kanchanrup of neighbouring district Saptari and Sri Lanka Island of 6 and 9 of Barahkshetra Municipality of Sunsari are also at risk of flooding.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Province 1 Rajendra Rai has expressed his concerns after the swelled Saptakoshi entered the human settlement. He said he was sad that many people of Barahakshethar in Sunsari and Belaka in Udaypur were hit hard by the floods.
(With inputs from Jay Krishna Yadav in Sunsari)