Nepal floods and mudslides kill more than 100, dozens remain missing

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Nepalese authorities searched for dozens of people missing this week on Friday heavy rain, floods and landslides, as survivors complained that they had not yet received government assistance.

The death toll has crossed the 100 mark in the east and west of the country, police spokesman Basanta Bahadur Kunwar said.

At least 40 other people have been injured by landslides and house collapses, and 41 others are missing, Kunwar said.

On Thursday, people passed a flooded area in Dipayal Silgadhi, Nepal.
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On Thursday, people passed a flooded area in Dipayal Silgadhi, Nepal.
(AP Photo / Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi)

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The downpour has calmed down in parts and the weather is expected to improve in the Himalayan nation over the weekend.

Heavy rains also wreaked havoc in neighboring India this week, killing at least 88 people and flooding roads, destroying bridges and causing landslides that swept away several homes.

Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Thursday visited flood-affected areas in the western region and pledged a government relief plan. However, many families said they are still waiting for government supplies and facing difficult times on their own.

Bhimraj Shahi, who lost six family members to landslides in remote Humla district, said rescue teams reached the site more than 10 hours after being hit on Monday.

“Although there has been a government announcement, real help has not yet arrived for the family,” Shahi said.

An earthmover helps clear a landslide-affected road after heavy rains in Dipayal Silgadhi, Nepal, Thursday.

An earthmover helps clear a landslide-affected road after heavy rains in Dipayal Silgadhi, Nepal, Thursday.
(AP Photo / Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi)

The disasters wiped out crops and homes, dealing a heavy blow to families already struggling with the devastating fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, said Azmat Ulla of the International Federation of Red Crescent Societies in Nepal. Red Cross teams were helping evacuation efforts in both countries.

“The people of Nepal and India are sandwiched between the pandemic and worsening climate disasters, heavily affecting millions of lives and livelihoods,” he added.

Kunwar said rescue teams moved people to safer places and took dozens of the injured to hospitals.

Authorities were still trying to determine the number of people displaced and the extent of the damage.

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Landslides and floods are common in the northern Himalayas of India. Scientists say they are more and more common because global warming contributes to the melting of glaciers.

In February, flash floods killed nearly 200 people and washed away homes in northern India’s Uttarakhand state. In 2013, thousands of people were killed in flooding there.

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