36 killed in landslides in Nepal


Kathmandu : Unseasonably heavy rains in western Nepal left a trail of destruction Tuesday, killing at least 36 people and injuring several others, official said.

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Government officials said landslides struck at least five districts in western Nepal while flash floods were reported in Nepal’s plains, known as Terai, after heavy rain began falling Sunday evening, displacing nearly a thousand people.

Worst affected was Accham district, about 400 km west of Kathmandu, where at least 19 people were killed in two separate landslides.

Another 12 people died in landslides in neighbouring Dedeldhura district, where an early morning landslide swept away two houses while their occupants slept inside, killing most of them, police officer Tulsi Aryal said.

The dead included seven children, among them a 6-month-old infant. Two other children were pulled out of the rubble alive by rescue workers, Aryal said.

Another five deaths were reported in three other districts, government officials said.

Additional police and rescue workers were dispatched to the affected areas but hilly terrain and continuing bad weather were hampering search operations, officials said.

The country’s meteorological department said in a statement that large parts of western Nepal had received rains in excess of 20 centimetres in the past 48 hours.

A statement issued by the meteorological department said Dhangadhi town in western Nepal had received 350 millimetres of rain in a 48-hour period ending Tuesday evening and more rains were expected.

Nepalese media reports said rivers in the region were flowing above danger levels and in some parts breached their banks and flooded farmland, damaging paddy ready to be harvested.