Thursday, December 2, 2021

Over 180 people die in torrential rains in Nepal and India

KATMANDU, Nepal (NWN). In Nepal, floods and landslides caused by heavy rains have killed at least 99 people in Nepal since Monday, officials said.

In neighboring India, heavy downpours this week also wreaked havoc, killing at least 88 people, flooding roads, destroying bridges and causing landslides that washed away several homes.

Nepal police said rescuers are looking for at least 40 people who have been reported missing, raising fears that the death toll could rise.

Most of the deaths occurred in the eastern and western regions of the country, where heavy rains fell this week, police spokesman Basant Bahadur Kunwar said.

“The search and rescue team is moving people to safer places and taking the injured to hospitals,” he said.

At least 35 people injured in the rain were rescued and are in the hospital.

“Crops and homes have been destroyed, which is a major blow to families already grappling with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Azmat Ulla of the International Federation of Red Crescent Societies in Nepal. Red Cross teams are assisting evacuations in both countries.

“The people of Nepal and India are caught between a pandemic and worsening climate disasters, seriously affecting millions of lives and livelihoods,” he added.

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Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba visited flood-affected areas in the western region on Thursday and instructed authorities to focus on early rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the vulnerable.

The authorities are still trying to establish the number of displaced households and the total damage caused by natural disasters.

Forecasters in Nepal expect moderate rainfall later Thursday but expect the weather to improve by the end of the week.

Troubled rains have hit several regions of India this week. The floods and landslides caused by heavy rainfall over the week have killed at least 46 people in the northern state of Uttarakhand and 42 people in the southern state of Kerala, which is on alert for more rains in the coming days.

Landslides and floods are common in northern India in the Himalayas. Scientists say they are becoming more frequent as global warming is helping to melt glaciers there.

In February in Uttarakhand, flash floods killed about 200 people and washed away houses. In 2013, thousands of people died there as a result of floods.

Nation World News Desk
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