Floods, landslides after monsoon rain kill dozens in Nepal

At least 27 people have been killed throughout Nepal and many missing after heavy flooding and landslides.

Monsoon rains flood the streets of Kathmandu
A rescuer carries a woman from a flooded neighbourhood following torrential rain in Kathmandu, Nepal [Narendra Shrestha/EPA]

At least 27 people have been killed in Nepal after torrential monsoon rains caused floods and landslides, according to officials.

Incessant rain since Thursday pounded much of the Himalayan nation tucked between China and India, with particularly severe downpours in the country’s eastern region and its southern plains.

Bishwaraj Pokharel, a spokesperson for Nepal Police, told AFP news agency that in addition to the dozens killed, at least 11 people were injured and 15 others reported missing. Nepal’s security forces have been deployed to assist ongoing search and rescue operations.

Three of the victims were killed when a wall collapsed near the capital Kathmandu.

“The wall suddenly crumbled, we thought it was an earthquake. By the time we came out the house was broken,” said Kundan Kumar Sharma, a local resident.

Drought in Nepal: Farmers struggle with lack of wate

More rain coming

Nepal’s weather department warned more heavy rain was expected in the coming days – about 100mm each day – and advised people to stay alert.

Officials said the Kosi River in eastern Nepal, which flows into the eastern Indian state of Bihar, had risen above the danger mark.

The Kosi has been a serious concern for both India and Nepal since it broke its banks in 2008 and changed course, submerging swathes of land and affecting more than two million people in Bihar. About 500 people died in that disaster.

In neighbouring northeastern India, the death toll from the current downpours rose to 11 with six dead in Assam state and another five in Arunachal Pradesh.

Scientists warn because of climate change, monsoon patterns are changing and the region needs to prepare for more weather extremes, severe drought, as well as more intense periods of rain.

The annual monsoon rains, which normally start in June and continue through September, are crucial for Nepal, a country of 30 million people, and India, which both depend on the annual downpours for farming. But landslides and floods often result, killing scores of people every year.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies