Flooding landslides kill 200 in India and Nepal

New Delhi | October 22, 2021

Officials said on Thursday that nearly 200 people died in floods and landslides in India and Nepal, with families buried in their homes and two young girls swept away. More heavy rain is expected, according to forecasters.

According to experts, they were victims of the more unpredictable and extreme weather that has hit South Asia in recent years, which has been caused by climate change and exacerbated by deforestation, damming, and excessive development.

In the region’s unusually late deluge of rain, Nepal saw the sharpest increase in casualties overnight, with 88 people killed, including a family of six whose house was obliterated by an avalanche of soil and debris.

“It doesn’t rain this time of year,” said Nawaraj Kattel, 37, a local journalist who fled his flooded home in Morang, Nepal’s easternmost district.

“Our neighborhood has about 100 families, and everyone has fled. We are staying at my sister’s house because many people do not have access to shelters. Many people also lost their harvest “According to AFP, he stated.

On Thursday, 55 people were confirmed dead in the Himalayan north Indian state of Uttarakhand, which had received the most rain in more than a century in some areas.

They included five members of a family whose home was destroyed by a massive landslide.

Many bridges and roads are damaged and many towns are cut off, and the army has been brought in to restore contact and reach thousands of people stranded. Thousands were left without power.

More danger for Kerala

Forecasters issued heavy rain warnings in at least three districts in Kerala, southern India, where 42 people have died since last week, after a brief respite in recent days.

The flooding in the state on the Arabian Sea, which scientists say is warming, brought back memories of the worst flooding in a century, which killed nearly 500 people in 2018.

“We’ve looked death in the eyes. We are extremely fortunate to be alive “said Sasidharan, 72, who was displaced from his ancestral home by a landslide and is now living in a relief camp.

“Everything has been lost to us. The only items we were able to recover were our undergarments. Identity documents, bank documents, and property documents – we’ve lost them all “According to AFP, he stated.

“We looked outside when we heard the sound of rocks falling. I was extremely terrified “Nandana, his 11-year-old granddaughter, agreed.

“Our neighbors have left. They were my pals. We used to have a lot of fun playing together.”

Five people were killed in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, including two sisters, ages eight and ten, from the same family, who were swept away as heavy rains pounded the hills of Darjeeling and other districts.

“Mud, rocks, and water tumbling down Darjeeling’s hills damaged nearly 400 houses, and several thousand people were evacuated away from the swollen rivers on the foothills,” Disaster Management Minister Javed Amhed Khan told AFP.

“Several hundred tourists are stranded in Darjeeling, a hill resort. Landslides in the area obstruct highways and roads “He stated.

The Met Office has issued a red alert for the state, predicting that extremely heavy rain will continue in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Alipurdur on Thursday.

The Red Cross said its teams were assisting with relief efforts in both countries and warning people living further downstream of the dangers posed by rising floodwaters.

“Crops and homes have been wiped out,” it said, “which is a severe blow to families who are already dealing with the devastating fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“The people of Nepal and India are caught in the middle of a pandemic and worsening climate disasters, affecting millions of lives and livelihoods.”

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