Kathmandu, June 18 (EFE).- At least 15 people, including two Chinese and an Indian, have died in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains in Nepal, officials said Friday.
More than 20 people have gone missing after rains lashed the mountainous Sindhupalchok district earlier this week.
The deceased due to the floods included one Indian and two Chinese nationals who worked on a drinking water project in the Melamchi area, the disaster management authority said.
Chinese Sinohydro Corporation is developing the Melamchi Water Supply Project project.
“Twenty people, including a Chinese and two Indian nationals, have gone missing in the floods,” Baburam Khanal, assistant chief district officer of Sindhupalchok, told EFE.
Khanal said the search and rescue efforts were on.
Floodwaters from the Melamchi river gushed into the settlements and a marketplace, displacing over 100 families and leaving behind a trail of destruction that could run into millions of rupees.
Videos and photos posted on social media show the first floors of several houses submerged in muddy water.
People were left stranded on roofs of buildings.
A preliminary report suggested that landslides could have blocked the river before suddenly releasing the floodwaters downstream.
“But we also suspect glacial outburst in a high lying area bordering Tibet,” said Khanal.
“Study will tell how the floods occurred although there was no heavy rainfall in the district.”
Weathermen have predicted that Nepal and other South Asian nations might receive a normal to above-normal rainfall this monsoon, which began in Nepal on June 11.
Officials said heavy rains in the past four days displaced over 1,000 people in another mountainous district of Manang.
Last year nearly 400 people died in monsoon-related disasters in the Himalayan nation, the data on the Nepal Disaster Risk Reduction Portal showed.
The country gets nearly 80 percent of its annual rainfall during the monsoon season from June to September.
The rainy season began in Nepal on June 12 this year.
Nepal is highly vulnerable to natural disasters.
Globally, the landlocked country is ranked fourth, 11th, and 30th in terms of vulnerability to climate change, earthquake, and flood risks, according to a United Nations Development Programme report.
Grave disaster risks lurk behind the rich geography of tall mountains spanning the northern border of Nepal. EFE