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Covid-ravaged Nepal faces massive floods and landslides



Three days of relentless heavy rainfall have caused floods and landslides in Central Nepal resulting in the death of seven people, more than 50 missing and widespread damage to infrastructure.

Hard hit by the second wave of coronavirus with 62,137 active cases across the country, Nepal is now battling the monsoon flooding during the pandemic. 

The rainfall has been unusually heavy in Sindhupalchok district, which was also one of the most affected districts in 2015 earthquake. 

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Earlier, the South Asian Seasonal Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF) had forecast ‘above normal’ rainfall for most of Nepal this year. 

The water level of Melamchi River rose following incessant rainfall in Sindhupalchok district, disturbing the normal life in Melamchi and Helambu areas of the district. 

Newly appointed Minister of Health and Population Sher Bahadur Tamang on Facebook said, “Over 50 people are missing in the Melamchi and Indrawati rivers. The floods have also caused damages to the dam in Melamchi drinking water project, Timbu Bazaar, Chanaute Bazaar, Talamarang Bazaar and Melamchi Bazar.”

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Two highway bridges and six motor bridges on Melamchi road were destroyed, and major damage to the weir at Melamchi Water Supply headworks. Several trout farms and paddy terraces were also washed away.

Over 100 houses were washed away in the floods. Nepal Army, Police and Armed Police Force are carrying out the search and rescue operations. 

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Forecasting Division of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology has forecast light to moderate rainfall in most parts of the country and heavy rainfall in Bagmati and Lumbini Province in the next two days. 

In addition to this, the forecasting department has issued a warning for the next 24 hours. It said due to the heavy rainfall Karnali, Gandaki, Lumbini and some parts of Bagmati Province are prone to landslides. 

The department has further requested people to take necessary precautions as the water level of the rivers may rise and transport services will be affected.

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