One dead, 25 missing as floods, landslides wreak havoc in Eastern Nepal

At least 25 people have been unaccounted for while one has been confirmed dead in flooding and landslide incidents in Eastern Nepal as the monsoonsets off in Nepal.

As per the police, all the incidents have been recorded within 24 hours since Saturday evening in three different districts of Eastern Nepal.

Sankhuwasabha, one of the affected districts which has seen continuous downpours since Saturday evening, has reported 16 missing workers from a hydropower project.

“16 workers of Super Hewakhola Hydropower have gone missing after floods in Hewakhola since Saturday evening. The floods have swept away seven houses,” District Police Office Chief, Birendra Godar confirmed ANI over the phone.

“A worker`s body has been found offshore. We are trying to establish the identity of the deceased,” Deputy Superintendent Godar added.

In Panchthar, at least five people have been missing in a flooding incident while the road connection to different areas of the district also has been disrupted, confirmed Deputy Superintendent of Police Hari Khatiwada.

In Taplejung, four people have gone missing after a landslide swept houses. Search operation for the missing people is underway, the Police said.

Nepal has been recording a number of disasters triggered by heavy downpours resulting in inundation, flooding and landslide during monsoon.

Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Sunday morning directed authorities to revamp the search and rescue operation as well as expressed grief over the reported incidents.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of property caused by the floods in various districts of the country. In addition, I sincerely appeal to the general public for their support by directing the security agencies and national service personnel to actively search for, rescue and relieve the missing persons,” the Prime Minister tweeted from his personal Twitter handle.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority earlier this month projected 1.25 million citizens to be affected by monsoon this year. “An estimated 1.298 million individuals from 286,998 households will be affected by the disaster,” the disaster management authority stated in its projection.

It is estimated that 400,000 people will be affected in Madhesh province and 300,000 people in Koshi province. According to NDRRMA, an estimated 200,000 individuals will be affected in Lumbini Province, 100,000 in Bagmati Province, 147,000 in Sudurpaschim Province, 69,000 in Gandaki Province, and 35,000 in Karnali Province due to the disaster. Around 2 million people were affected last year.

The NDRRMA also has approved an action plan which includes an analysis of monsoon-related risks and the assessment of their impacts, as well as the involvement of various ministries and relevant sectors, non-governmental organizations like the Nepal Red Cross, in working on disaster management, search, rescue, and distribution of relief materials.

Though the Himalayan Nation has started recording losses and damages with the onset of monsoon, the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology has predicted that there will be less rainfall in the country during this year`s monsoon.

It is also estimated that the maximum temperature will be higher than in the past due to less rainfall. Generally, the monsoon enters Nepal in mid-June and remains active in Nepal for about a hundred days.

Monsoon clouds entered Nepal on Wednesday, a day after the normal date, according to the Meteorological Forecasting Division of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, The Kathmandu Post reported.

The division in a special bulletin on Wednesday afternoon, said: “This year`s monsoon system entered today [Wednesday] into Koshi Province, eastern Madhesh, almost all parts of Bagmati Province, and the eastern part of Gandaki Province.”

As per the Met division, it will take a few days for the phenomenon to reach the remaining parts of the country.

It normally takes a week for the monsoon clouds to spread all over the country.

Meteorologists at the division said clouds entering the country from the Bay of Bengal have caused rainfall in most districts of Koshi Province, eastern parts of Madhesh Province, Bagmati Province and Gandaki Province.

The monsoon season in Nepal generally begins on June 13 and ends on September 23. Last year, the monsoon entered the country on June 5, eight days before the average date, as per The Kathmandu Post.

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