Nepal Landslides poses a new threat!

Amid the literal pandemic and the bad shape of the economy, Nepal has a new obstacle to fight against. Landslides set off by heavy rainfall this weekend and killed many people and left many more missing in a hilly region of Nepal that borders Tibet. Many locals had only recently rebuilt their homes in a district, which were damaged by a powerful 2015 earthquake. Nepal is also being battered by an economic crisis and widespread unemployment brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, which has left 336 people dead in the country. “Rescuers are working hard, but rescuing the missing people alive seems impossible,” said Shreedhar Neupane, a press secretary to the speaker of Nepal’s House of Representatives, Agni Prasad Sapkota.

Located near the Nepal-China border, Sindhupalchok has been battered by landslides this year. 17 documented landslide incidents have killed at least 55 people in 2020, the Nepal Disaster Risk Reduction Portal reports. Landslides triggered by torrential monsoon rains swept through three villages in Nepal, destroying hundreds of houses. Nepal’s Army, the Armed Police Force and residents were mobilized for relief and rescue operations, which have been hampered by inclement weather.

Many people are still missing after heavy rains led to landslides in the hilly Sindhupalchok district of Nepal over the weekend. More than thirty-five people are reported to be missing in the rain-related incidents that have thrown normal life out of gear in central and eastern parts of the country. Dozens Feared Dead as Nepal Landslides Wipe Out Homes. As many as 20 people from the village of Barhabise were missing on Sunday after the landslides, which washed away 28 homes in the region on Saturday night, leaving rescuers racing to find survivors and dig them out.

The hilly district where the landslides occurred, Sindhupalchok, was badly affected in 2015’s earthquake. Of more than 8,700 people who died in that quake, 3,440 were from the district. Every year, scores of people living in hillside villages and towns die in landslides. In mid-August, 36 people died after being buried under a huge landslide in the nearby village of Lidi. Thirty-seven homes built on steep slopes were wiped out. These are a few headlines from the recent incidences of landslides in Nepal.

On 13 Sept 2020, 12 Killed Due To Landslides In Nepal, At Least 21 Missing
On 03 Sept 2020, 12 Dead In Nepal Landslide And Flash Floods, Dozens Missing
On 03 August 2020, Ten People Killed In Nepal Monsoon Landslides
On 14 July 2020, 43 Dead, 24 Missing In Floods, Landslides In Nepal
On 13 July 2020, Nepal Rain, Landslides Kill 60 People, 41 Are Missing
On 12 July 2020, 10 More People Killed In Landslides Across Nepal, Total 54 Deaths
On 11 July 2020, Nepal Landslides Kill 15 More People, Death Count Rises To 37
On 10 July 2020, Nepal Landslides And Floods Kill 12 People, 19 Are Missing

“Cracks developed by the previous earthquakes are now reactivated after this season’s rainfall,” said Basanta Raj Adhikari, an assistant professor of geology at the Tribhuvan University of Nepal. “Because of this, people living in risky areas like Sindhupalchok are losing their lives to landslides,” he added.

Mr Adhikari said that fragile mountain geography had been destabilized in the earthquakes and that the use of heavy equipment to build roads on steep slopes had exacerbated the problem.

“Continuous rainfall had made it difficult for rescuers on Sunday. Homes and people have swept away in Bahrabise, 100km (62 miles) east of capital Kathmandu near the border with the Tibet region of China”, Nepalese government official Murari Wasti said.
The torrential rain, which caused a foothill to collapse, destroyed more than 100 houses in Bahrabise.
“We fear more landslides as the soil has grown weaker after the earthquake,” said Nimphunjo Sherpa, mayor of the affected Bahrabise municipality.
“The municipality is planning to move some at-risk settlements”, he added. “The latest fatalities took the death toll from landslides and flash floods in the June-September monsoon season to 314. At least 111 people remain missing and 160 have been injured”, Wasti said.

By Karishma Gwalani

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