Image Source : ANI Nepal was rocked by landslides, floods and lightning strikes.

Kathmandu: As many as 14 people have been killed in Nepal as landslides, floods and lightning incidents at various places within the last 24 hours rocked the Himalayan nation. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRMA) under the Ministry of Home Affairs, eight people have been killed by landslides, five due to lightning and one due to floods.

“We recorded a total of 44 incidents on June 26, 2024. In those incidents 14 people have lost their lives, 8 were due to landslide, 5 due to lightning and 1 in flooding. 2 people are still unaccounted for in the incident of landslide while 10 people have sustained injuries,” Dijan Bhattarai, Spokesperson at the NDRMA told news agency ANI. Five people were killed in a landslide in Lambjung, two in Kaski and one in Okhaldhunga on Wednesday alone.

At least 28 people have been killed in the last 17 days till Wednesday since the activation of the monsoon climatic effect in the country, according to Nepal’s Home Ministry. As many as 22 districts have been affected by monsoon-related incidents with a total of 147 such incidents in this period. 

Hundreds of people are killed every year in floods and landslides, which are common in mostly mountainous Nepal during the monsoon season from mid-June to mid-September, due to the terrain and unplanned urbanisation in the slopes, which makes it particularly vulnerable in the monsoon season. The season began on June 13 and is expected to last till September 23. 

The government has estimated that as many as 1.8 million people could be affected by rain-related incidents during the season. As such, landslides triggered by heavy rains in Nepal are expected again to cause tremendous damage to life, property, infrastructure and environment. In the hills, landslides are the main natural hazards occurring very frequently, mostly during monsoon. 

South Asian meteorologists have predicted that La Nina conditions are likely to develop over the equatorial Pacific during the second half of the southwest monsoon season this year. It is also recognized that the La Nina conditions are generally associated with the normal to above-normal southwest monsoon rainfall over most parts of South Asia.

La Nina is characterised by cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific region and is linked to floods and drought. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said there was a 60 per cent chance that La Nina conditions would take hold between July to September, and a 70 per cent chance of them occurring between August and November.

(with inputs from Reuters)

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