Indian and Chinese nationals are among the 15 people reported missing after a flash flood in Nepal’s Melamchi River wreaked havoc at the Melamchi Bazaar and other low-lying areas along the Indrawati river basin in Sindhupalchowk district, a media report said.
The district has witnessed torrential rain since Tuesday, which led to the inundation of the low land areas along the Indrawati river basin, The Himalayan Times report said on Thursday.
The same day the area was hit by the flash flood which occurred after a gorge in a high mountain area around 30 km from Melamchi was blocked due to a landslide.
The Melamchi Drinking Water Project (MDWP) at Melamchi has also been destroyed.
So far, the bodies of two Chinese and one Indian national have been recovered, The Himalayan Times quoted MDWP spokesperson Rajendra Prasad Pant as saying on Thursday.
“The number of deceased people is likely to increase in the coming days as more and more people have come forward with complaints of missing family members,” said Chief District Officer Arun Pokharel of Sindhupalchowk.
Nepali Army and Nepal Police have claimed to have rescued a total of 74 people, who were trapped in the flood, with choppers.
Around 200 families have been displaced by the flood while over 1,000 families have been relocated to safer places.
Hundreds of people have been forced to move to community shelters, including schools, sheds, and tents, authorities said.
Aid agencies said the crisis this year could add to the social and economic woes of a country hard hit by COVID-19. Nepal has been reporting among the highest coronavirus test positivity rates in the world.
“Those who have lost homes are sleeping in community centres,” said John Jordan of the U.S.-based charity World Neighbors.
“This forced density raises risks for a community that has been recovering from Covid-19.”