Monsoon Flood Emergencies In Many Parts of Nepal, Several Deaths Overnight

Heavy rains since Friday, August 11, have left large portions of the nine districts extending from East to West Nepal under flood waters, causing deaths, displacing thousands, and affecting normal life in the country’s low-lying areas. There is reason to worry as more rain is expected through the weekend. Reports indicate airports and hospitals too have been inundated in several districts.

Janakpur District Hospital, as seen flooded on Friday afternoon.
Photo: Kirankumar Karna / RSS

Significant parts of Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Saptari, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Kapilvastu, Banke, and Bardia districts are inundated. According to the National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC) under the Ministry of Home Affairs responsible for disaster-related activities, at least seven people – four from Sindhuli and three from Banke have died since last night. In addition, media reports suggest five deaths in Sunsari district. This is yet to be confirmed by the government.

Some river basins in West Nepal including Rapti and Babai reported cloudburst, a situation when there is extreme rainfall (100 mm in an hour). This causes a sharp rise in the water level in rivers originating from Mahabharat and Chure range.

West Rapti at Kusum recorded 442 mm rain in just two hours on Saturday, said Binod Parajuli, a hydrologist at the Metrological Forecasting Division. Major rivers, namely Kankai, Riukhola in Chitwan, Babai, West Rapti and Mohana recorded water levels at dangerous with risk of flooding.

The water in Mahakali, Karnali Koshi and Narayani is about to reach danger level too. With continued rains on Saturday, the water level in the rivers are likely to cross the dangerous mark by Saturday evening, said Parajuli.

The active monsoon phase bringing with it continuous and torrential rains across the country will continue until Sunday evening. This will result in more rain-induced disasters including floods and landslides in the country.

Shankar Hari Acharya, Chief of National Emergency Operation Center, Nepal

The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) has been asking people to stay alert through early warning flood forecasting in Tarai district. Acting on early messages about precipitation conditions, disaster risk reduction committees in all concerned districts have mobilised their resources to help affected communities, said Acharya.