08/08/2014, 00.00
NEPAL
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Nepal: 156 dead and 30 thousand displaced people in "worst landslide in 30 years"

by Christopher Sharma
The government has halted the search for survivors. The most affected are the residents of three villages in the northern district of Sindhupalchowk. The area is inhabited mostly by Christians, but the identity of the victims has not yet been made public. The survivors blame government for failing to provide a relief plan: "We have had no food for six days."

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Nepal has stopped all search for survivors and declared the death of 156 people in a landslide that hit the northern district of Sindhupalchowk, August 2 last. More than 30 thousand people have been displaced. The villages most affected are those of Mangkha, Ramche and Jure. According to data of the National Statistics Office, the area is inhabited mostly by Christians, although the authorities have explained that the identity and religion of the victims has yet to be ascertained.

The terrible landslide - considered the deadliest in 30 years - was triggered by floods that swept the area in late July. The avalanche of mud swept through and destroyed at least 200 homes in Tamang; buried the market of Ban Sanghu, which is located along the river Sunkoshi. When the landslide blocked the waterway it created an artificial lake, which flooded 30 homes. Even the secondary school in the area has been buried by mud, and with it, 30 students, whose bodies are still trapped.

For the moment, the government has donated 40 thousand rupees each to one hundred families for funeral expenses. A few others, homeless, received 5 thousand rupees each.

However, the people of the three villages criticize the authorities for failing to implement a rehabilitation plan. Ram Tamang, who lost seven members of his family, said: "The government should take care of us as soon as possible. We have had no food for six days and we are scared." In the absence of organization on the part of the government, the people are forced to sleep in the open, or seek shelter from other villages.

 

 

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