At least 11 killed and 8 missing after heavy rains trigger landslides in Nepal

People stand near the flooded temple area as the Hanumante River rises after torrential rains in Kathmandu, Nepal (EPA)
People stand near the flooded temple area as the Hanumante River rises after torrential rains in Kathmandu, Nepal (EPA)

At least 11 people died in the last 36 hours in Nepal after heavy rains triggered landslides and flash floods in the Himalayan country.

Heavy monsoon rainfall has prompted several flash floods and landslides in recent days, killing dozens of people and blocking key highways and roads.

Officials say apart from the 11 confirmed killed, eight pople were missing, who were either washed away in floods or buried in landslides.

At least 12 others were injured and were being treated in hospitals, police spokesperson Dan Bahadur Karki said.

“Rescue workers are trying to clear the landslides and open the roads,” Mr Karki told Reuters, adding heavy equipment was being used to clear debris.

Till now, a total of 55 incidents of flooding have been recorded in Nepal in less than a month, officials said.

At least 50 people across Nepal have died in landslides, floods and lightning strikes since mid-June when annual monsoon rains started.

Photos and videos from Kathmandu and other regions showed people wading through waist-deep water or residents using buckets to empty their houses.

Neighbouring India is also experiencing heavy rainfall across the country. The downpour in July put an end to a searing heatwave in northern India but also flooded the streets of Delhi earlier, with the parking roof of the international airport collapsing, killing one.

Severe rainfall has also caused flooding in the hilly northeastern parts of the country which were already battered by floods due the Cyclone Remal in May.

Continued rain is also increasing risks of further flooding as the Koshi river in Nepal, which causes deadly floods in the eastern Indian state of Bihar almost every year, was flowing above the danger level, a district official said.

“The flow of Koshi is rising and we have asked residents to remain alert about possible floods,” Bed Raj Phuyal, a senior official of Sunsari district where the river flows, told Reuters.

A view of the flooded temple area as the Hanumante River rises after torrential rains in Kathmandu, Nepal (EPA)
A view of the flooded temple area as the Hanumante River rises after torrential rains in Kathmandu, Nepal (EPA)

He said at 9am (3.15am GMT) water flow in Koshi river was more than double the normal.

Authorities said all 56 sluice gates of the Koshi Barrage had been opened to drain out water compared with about 10-12 during a normal situation.

Other rivers, such as Narayani, Rapti and Mahakali rivers in the west were also rising.

In hill-ringed Kathmandu, several rivers have overflown their banks, flooded roads and inundated many houses.

Hundreds of people die every year in landslides and flash floods that are common in mostly mountainous Nepal during the monsoon season which normally starts in mid-June and continues through mid-September.

In the northeastern Indian state of Assam, floods have killed dozens and displaced thousands of people in the past few days.

Additional reporting by Reuters.