By Aashish Mishra Kathmandu, Aug. 29: At least three people were killed and three others injured by monsoon-triggered disasters on Saturday. The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Authority informed in its daily update that the three killed were residents of Chauhan, Hupsekot Rural Municipality–4, Nawalpur. They were members of local Hasta Bahadur Pulami’s family who were swept away by a landslide on Friday. Their dead bodies were discovered on Saturday.
The three injured were Jibachhi Kumari Yadav of Dakneshwori Municipality–8, Saptari, Kameshwor Raut of Godaita Municipality–2, Sarlahi and Lachhu Chaudhary of Tulsipur Sub-Metropolitan City–10, Dang. All three were wounded when their houses collapsed due to the latest bout of heavy rains.
Similarly, two people, 50-year-old Purna Bahadur Karki and 28-year-old Puran Rana, have gone missing after they were swept away by the Bittijor River in Sindhuli and Mohana River in Kailali respectively. In Siraha, water level in the Balan River is rising fast, putting dozens of villages located on its western bank at risk of inundation. According to Dilip Yadav, a local of Lahan Municipality–23, incessant rains over the past three days have put the villages including Simraha, Sakhuwa, Portaha, Pariharpur and Tilebona at risk of flooding. He also informed that the river, which usually flows south, has begun eroding land on the west, raising fears that it might change its course altogether and head towards the densely populated settlements of Lahan Municipality and Sakhuwanankarkatti Rural Municipality.
Kanhaiya Prasad Gupta, chairman of Lahan–23, and Ramesh Yadav, chairman of Sakhuwanankarkatti–4, asked the concerned government bodies to do something to divert the river south immediately. “If the river starts flowing west, it will submerge thousands of houses and hundreds of acres of farmland. The devastation will be unimaginable,” they told The Rising Nepal. “Balan River has been troubling the people of Siraha for decades. We have asked the federal and provincial governments to find a sustainable solution to this issue but they do not care,” complained Muni Sah, mayor of Lahan.
Similarly, in Nawalpur, the flooded Pathar River has washed away the suspension bridge at Gagorsati, Kawasoti Municipality–17. The river swept away the bridge, constructed two years ago on Saturday. Locals told The Rising Nepal that the river flooded because it has been blocked downstream by a concrete dam constructed for irrigation. They said that the dam had also caused the river to submerge the nearby villages. Also in Nawalpur, landslides have washed away the road connecting Bulingtar and Baudikali, informed the District Police Office of Nawalpur. It will take more than a week to repair the road and bring it into operation, it stated.
Landslides have also damaged roads along the Karnali Corridor. Meanwhile, the rains that began on Thursday look likely to continue for a few more days. According to the weather bulletin issued by the Meteorological Forecasting Division, many parts of the country will experience light to moderate rainfall along with thunder and lightning.
The latest bout of rain is a result of monsoon winds. It stated in the bulletin that the low-pressure line is presently near Nepal’s Terai region which means that the rains will be heavier in the plains. Likewise, as per the forecast released by the Flood Forecast Division of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, water levels in the Narayani and Mahakali rivers will increase on Sunday and flash floods may occur in the small streams and rivulets of Bagmati, Gandaki, Lumbini and Sudurpashchim provinces.
The division has also asked people living near rivers and water bodies in the districts of Ilam, Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Udayapur, Khotang, Bhojpur, Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha, Solukhumbu, Parsa, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Siraha, Saptari, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Sindhupalchowk, Rasuwa, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Dhading, Nuwakot, Sindhuli, Makwanpur, Chitwan, Gandaki, Nawalpur, Gorkha, Lamjung, Tanahun, Kaski, Syangja, Parbat, Baglung, Myagdi, Manang, Nawalparasi, Palpa, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Gulmi, Arghakhanchi, Pyuthan, Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Rolpa, Salyan, Jumla, Rukum (West), Jajarkot, Dadeldhura, Doti, Kanchanpur and Kailali to stay alert about the floods.
(With inputs from our Lahan, Nawalparasi correspondents)