Dozens killed as storm hits southern Nepal

At least 31 dead and more than 400 injured as storm hits villages in a farming region south of capital Kathmandu.

    Rescuers are struggling to reach villages in southern Nepal that were cut off by a rainstorm that has at least killed 31 people and injured hundreds more.

    The storm swept through villages in a farming region of Bara and Parsa districts in southern Nepal, about 120km south of capital Kathmandu, on Sunday night.

    Earlier, Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli said he received a report of 25 people killed and 400 injured.

    Police official Sanu Ram Bhattarai said people were crushed by falling walls of their own homes and other debris.

    Bhattarai said police officers and soldiers from neighbouring areas reached the districts on Monday and were trying to reach the villages.

    According to Nepal's Prime Minister 25 people were killed and 400 injured [Niranjan Shrestha/AP Photo]

    Police said cars were flipped by the high winds and passengers were killed in one bus that got blown off the highway. 

    "The thunderstorm uprooted trees, electricity poles and telephone poles. Most casualties occurred after people were struck by them," said Bhattarai.

    Thunderstorms normally hit the country in the spring between April and May, but experts say Sunday's disaster was unusually severe. 

    Al Jazeera's Subina Shrestha, reporting from the district hospital in Parsa said the storm started around 19:30 local time (13:45 GMT).

    "Wherever it went the path of the storm brought massive destruction and the mud and wood structures that they [locals] live in came crashing down almost like match sticks, injuring them". 

    "As many as 100,000 people have been affected by this aftermath of the storm," Shrestha said, adding that Oli had visited Parsa earlier on Monday and told locals that rescue and recovery efforts were ongoing.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies