Flooding and landslides kill more than 30 in Nepal

FILE A woman carrying a child walking through a flooded alley at Bagalamukhi Lalitpur on Friday

Nepalese men carry children on their shoulders as they wade through flood waters in village Ramgadhwa in Birgunj, Nepal, Sunday.

Monsoon rains, which start in June and continue through to September, are important for farm-dependent Nepal, but they also cause havoc each year.

The rains are now expected to shift westwards and authorities in Nepal have begun evacuating 74,000 people from a vulnerable western district.

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Thousands of residents had been forced out of their houses in the hardest-hit areas, officials said, warning that the death toll could rise as at least 17 people were still missing.

Nine persons were killed in Rautahat, eight in Sunsari, four each in Sarlahi, Sindhuli, Bara, Makawanpur and Banke districts while five persons were killed in Jhapa, three each in Dang and Surkhet and two each in Bardiya and Chitawan, besides nine others elsewhere. However, their access to the affected areas were restricted due to the inundation of entire villages and blocked roads.

Meanwhile, many highway bridges which serve as the lifeline of the nation have been damaged, obstructing vehicular movement for relief and rescue programmes.

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This natural calamity has affected the air land and telephone connectivity. More than 30,000 houses have been inundated in flood water.

On Sunday, the Nepal government Cabinet held an emergency meeting and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba ordered district officials to intensify rescue operations.

Weathermen have said the extreme rainfall, starting from eastern Nepal, witnessed in the last few days was caused by the formation of a low pressure zone over the hills.

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