Nepal floods: Death tolls touches 91, stranded Indians rescued
Floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains since last week have killed 91 people and displaced tens of thousands across Nepal, the home ministry has said.
Fourteen people were killed in a landslide in Nepal on Monday, taking the death toll in rain-related incidents across the country to 91 even as a group of stranded Indian nationals were rescued from a national park by using elephants.
Incessant rains over the past few days have resulted in massive flooding and landslides at several places, displacing tens of thousands of people. The monsoon rains have wreaked havoc since Friday in districts spanning the eastern, central and western regions of the country.
According to the home ministry, 91 people were killed and 25 more injured. Another 38 have been reported missing following landslides and floods over the past three days and the death toll is likely to rise, the ministry said.
The bodies of two Indian nationals were found in Parsa district of Nepal, according to police. Their identities have been established, officials said.
A group of 35 Indians stranded at Sauraha, part of Chitawan national park, were rescued by using elephants, an Indian embassy spokesperson told the media. Earlier reports had quoted authorities as saying that 200 Indian tourists were among some 700 stranded people but the Indian mission said only 35 of them were Indians.
The home ministry also said 50,000 houses were inundated across the plains and more than 22,000 people displaced so far. Nearly 3,000 houses were destroyed by floods that also killed an estimated 400 head of livestock. Another 3,700 structures, including schools, hospitals and government offices, were damaged.
The cloud burst stopped on Monday afternoon, according to the department of meteorology.
Some media reports in Kathmandu suggested seven bodies were swept away by the floods to the Indian side. They were found near Jogbini railway station in India.
According to Nepalese police officials in Morang district, the identity of three dead Nepali nationals had been established. They were believed to have swept away by flood waters after they left their homes near the border with India on Saturday.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba visited flood-affected areas on Monday and assured people that no stone will be left unturned during search, rescue and rehabilitation efforts by the government.
The government has mobilised more than 27,000 personnel for rescue and relief operations. Seven Nepal Army helicopters, motorboats and rubber boats are also being used.
In a statement, the home ministry said individuals and institutions wishing to help flood victims should follow the one-window system while distributing relief materials. Nepal has had negative experiences during the distribution of relief materials after the 2015 earthquakes.
The ministry has assigned dedicated bodies to collect relief materials from individuals and institutions so that they can be effectively distributed among people affected by the floods, the statement said.