Kathmandu, Jul 10 (efe-epa).- At least 16 people died and dozens others went missing in multiple landslides caused by heavy rainfall in different parts of Nepal, officials said on Friday.
The landslides most affected the hilly regions, burying dozens of houses, while hundreds of houses were inundated in the southern Terai plains.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority, seven people were killed in central Kaski district.
Of the seven people, five – including three children – lost their lives as the house they had gathered at to celebrate a birthday party in Sarangkot Gothadi was swept away by a landslide early Friday, Kaski’s Deputy Superintendent of Police, Subash Hamal, told EFE.
In Lamjung district, three people of a family died in a landslide caused by heavy rainfall in Besisahar municipality late Thursday.
Another three people died and 12 were missing in landslides in West Rukum and Jajarkot districts as of Friday. Two of those dead were from West Rukum.
In Myagdi district, three people lost their lives and 33 went missing after at least 35 houses were buried in landslides.
Search and rescue efforts remain underway and officials expect the number of casualties to increase in the coming hours.
“Rescue operations are underway across the country, but the heavy rainfall and bad weather has hampered the operations,” National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority spokesperson Janardan Gautam told EFE.
“Based on the number of missing people, the death toll may rise,” he added.
The spokesperson said that while some 100 people across the country lose their lives in monsoon-related natural disasters every year, this time the rains have been particularly severe and the casualty rate could be significantly higher.
On Wednesday, at least two people, including a minor, died and 23 others went missing as torrential rains triggered floods and landslides washed away 33 houses in the Himalayan nation.
The disaster struck three different settlements in Sindhupalchowk district, around 70 km north-east of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, during the night.
The monsoon started in Nepal on June 12. Since then, the country has seen frequent incidents of extreme weather conditions.
As per official figures, landslides and floods have killed more than 50 people as of Friday since the start of monsoon.
The main opposition party, Nepali Congress, expressed grief over the loss of lives and property over the last few days, especially at a moment when the country was facing tackling the Covid-19 crisis, according to a statement by party president and former former prime minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority, based on the water-induced disasters, has claimed this has been the deadliest monsoon season in more than a decade in the country. EFE-EPA