08/20/2014, 00.00
NEPAL
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Floods leave 200 people dead and 10,000 families homeless

by Christopher Sharma
For residents, this is the worst environmental disaster in 70 years. At present, 400 people are missing with hundreds injured. Some 30,000 homes have been flooded, 5,000 damaged. In Bardia District, there is no drinking water. The carcasses of dead animals are causing fear of disease. The Catholic Church and Caritas are providing aid.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Floods that hit the central-western region of Nepal have killed at least 200 people, with another 400 still missing. Hundreds have been injured, 10,000 families have been displaced, 30,000 homes have been flooded and 5,000 have been damaged. The local Caritas and Catholic missionaries are on site to provide assistance and relief to the victims.

According to residents, this is the worst environmental disaster in 70 years. Of the 25 affected districts, Bardia is the most affected. Survivors have been without relief and basic necessities for five days. There is no clean water for drinking and the carcasses of dead animals are starting to rot.

Now people fear the possibility of skin diseases, diarrhoea, cholera and dysentery. Catholic and government organisations are setting up mobile clinics to keep the situation under control.

Motilal Barma, from Banke District, was able to reach a refugee camp, but was left without clothes. "I was dragged for 15 kilometres," he said, "but somehow I managed to stay afloat for 36 hours. I do not know what happened to my family."

Premi Chaudhari, 29, became a mother just two days ago. "To save myself," she said, "my family got me and my child into a tree. Now food distribution has started, but we cannot eat beaten rice and noodles without clean water."

"We are mediating with governmental and non-governmental organisations to deliver the best possible help," said Sister Rosita Kavilpurayidathil, superior at the Nava Jyoti-Training Centre and School, who spoke with AsiaNews. "Elderly, pregnant women, infants and new mothers are in the worst conditions".

"Our premises are safe," she explained, "because we are in a higher elevation, but the villages we work with and the kids are facing a tough time. We still do not know their conditions."

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