[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Nepal landslide sparks fears of flash floods

Twelve people killed after mudslide, now blocking Sunkoshi river, buried dozens of homes.

Last updated: 02 Aug 2014 12:05
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Injured were brought to a hospital in Kathmandu for treatment [Reuters]

A massive landslide in Nepal has killed 12 people, army sources said, and blocked a mountain river causing the water to form a lake that threatens to engulf several villages.

The deaths on Saturday came after the landslide buried two dozen homes before dumping mud and stones into the Sunkoshi river, 120km east of the capital Kathmandu. Thousands were forced to evacuate to higher ground.

Police official Arun Chetri told the Associated Press news agency that rescuers expected the death toll to rise as many homes were buried by the landslide or submerged by the rising water.

Nepal's Home Ministry ordered the army to help remove the blockade and release the water, and prepare for a disaster if the walls of the newly formed lake burst.

The immediate threat was flash floods in the Sindhupalchowk area as the water there had already formed a 3km long lake.

The Arniko highway, that connects Nepal to Tibet, had also been closed with villagers ordered to move to higher grounds.

Telephone and electricity lines were disrupted but radio stations have been airing the warnings and police using loudspeakers, officials said.

Army helicopters had flown to the area, airlifting some of the injured villagers to hospitals after rainfall has stopped and weather conditions improved.

Landslides are common in mostly mountainous Nepal during the monsoon rainy season, which runs from June through September.

A similar landslide in May 2012 killed at least 26 people when an avalanche blocked the Seti river in northwest Nepal. The walls burst causing flash flood that sept several downstream villages.

257

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.