07/27/2016, 13.34
NEPAL
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Nepal floods and landslides kill 39 with 28 missing

by Christopher Sharma

Heavy monsoon rains have hit Nepal, leaving the authorities powerless to rescue stranded residents. Bridges and homes have been swept away, roads have been blocked, and river waters are at their highest levels, putting thousands at risk. Some have been forced to live on the roof of their homes; others have found shelter in trees.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Heavy monsoon rains have battered Nepal in the past few days, sweeping away houses and huts.

At least 39 people have died so far with 28 missing, as rescue teams struggle to reach the flooded areas.

In central Nepal, Parbat District Deputy Chief Prabin Dhakal appealed to residents to leave their homes for safer areas because the local authorities are unable to provide them with safety.

The districts of central southern Nepal are the most affected. Heavy rains have flooded the lower floors of many homes and destroyed the weakest, already affected by slow post-earthquake reconstruction.

Jitbir Bal lost his father, Man Bahadur, and his home, "swept away by waters. We knew the rain was coming but did not expect such intensity."

"We were sleeping when the rain hit and killed my children, aged 9 and 7,” said Gopal Bahadur Rana, Gulmi district. “We found their bodies only later."

Only brick houses survived, the authorities report. According to Jhapa District Police Chief Dhan Bahadur Karki Saptari, those "who lived in brick houses now have set up makeshift tents on roofs. Others have put up tents on the trees or moved to higher ground. People have no food or clothes to cover themselves."

The latest report notes that 200 houses are under water in Setibeni bazaar, Parbat District. More than 3,000 people have been displaced in Jhapa District. Another 2,000 fled the villages of Bhadrapur, Prithvinagar, Kechana, Pathamari and Kumarkhed.

Rains have brought down bridges and blocked main roads, including the Siddhartha Highway, the country’s most important road, which connects the Terai region in the south to the northern mountainous regions.

The army, the police and local teams are working to clear the roads. The authorities are concerned about rising river levels and are constantly monitoring the territory as thousands are still at risk.

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