At least 5 people were killed following rain-induced landslides in four districts of Eastern Nepal on Monday, Police officials said. As per the Koshi provincial District Police, five people have been confirmed dead since Saturday night's heavy downpour resulting in destruction and loss of lives in the Sankhuwasabha, Taplejung, Panchthar and Dhankuta Districts of Nepal.
"Two people have been confirmed dead in Panchthar, one each in Sankhuwasabha, Taplejung and Dhankuta District," the Provincial District Police record stated. "21 people are unaccounted for in Sankhuwasabha while 4 are reported missing in Panchthar and 3 in Taplejung District since Saturday night," the Provincial District Police said.
Heavy downpour triggering disasters
Nepal has been recording a number of disasters triggered by heavy downpours resulting in inundation, flooding and landslides during monsoon. The monsoon entered Nepal last week and is set to expand all over the country by the weekend which cause the mortality to rise in further weeks.
Nepal's Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Prakash Jwala on Sunday addressing a session of the federal parliament in Kathmandu stated that a massive loss of properties in Eastern Nepal has taken place due to heavy outpours.
"Eastern Nepal's different districts specially Taplejung, Panchthar, Sankhuwasabha and Terhathum have faced extensive damage to properties due to the flood and landslide. Road connections and belly-bridge in those districts have witnessed damages and many more roads have been disrupted," Minister Jwala said.
Search and rescue operations underway
The minister also informed the parliament that search, rescue and relief operations are currently underway in the affected districts. "The government is carrying out the works for search and rescue of the missing ones and those reeling under the catastrophe in those districts. In those areas, the Nepal Army, Armed Police Force, Nepal Police as well as government officials are involved in the search, rescue and relief efforts," the minister added.
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.
Over a million people to be affected
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.