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Nepal Floods 2018: Rains Topple Life at Nepal, 1200 Pilgrims Stranded
The bulletin issued by the FFS forecasted that important rivers including Narayani would witness a significant rise in water level and even touch the ‘red line’
Rains across Nepal have crippled citizens and tourists alike. The country is witnessing some alarming situations following the occurrence of rain and its magnitude.
In a recent update, the Flood Forecasting Section (FFS) of Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) stated that water level in all major rivers in the country is rapidly rising bringing it very close to the danger mark.
The bulletin issued by FFS forecasted that rivers including Narayani, tributaries of the Mahakali, Koshi and Karnali would witness a significant rise in water level and even touch the ‘red line’.
In the same way, rivers originating in the Mahabharatha and Chure ranges in the eastern region including Kankai, Khado, Raatu, Bagmati, Biring, Kamala and Gagan are likely to cross the danger level.
Pilgrims Stranded in Nepal
The rains have so far crippled more than 1,200 pilgrims at the Indo-Nepal border region and resulted in ‘seven’ causalities.
As the situation worsened over the weekend, as many as 1,500 Indian pilgrims remained stranded around the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route in Nepal after continuous rains triggered landslides at several places across the country including this region.
According to an official statement by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu, around 525 Indian pilgrims are stuck in Simikot, about 550 in Hilsa and an additional 500 people around the Tibet region.
As many as 290 persons from the Indian State of Karnataka have also been identified among other pilgrims.
The pilgrimage that drew an overwhelming number of devotees to the site has been put on halt for two days due to non-stop rains in areas including Sindhuli, Kailkali, Nuwakot, Syangia, Parsa, Banke, Nawalparasi and Dang along the Indo-Nepal border.
The Embassy asked tour operators to try to retain pilgrims close to the Tibetian side only as the civic and medical facilities were not enough in the Nepal side. It has additionally asked operators to focus on clearing up the situation in Hilsa which is the most sensitive area in terms of infrastructure.
The Mission is also trying to bring Nepal army choppers into the picture owing to its operating skills in handling difficult terrain.
Immediate evacuation is not advisable right now as the weather does not support any related activity.
Domestic Flight Operators Stand Still
Meanwhile, internal air travel took a hit throughout July 1, 2018 when home-bound airline companies couldn’t operate flights from Pokhara, Lukla and Bhairahawa regions due to the incessant rains.
According to the Tribhuvan International Airport spokesperson Prem Nath Thakur, a major number of flights scheduled for operation between Pokhara, Lukla and Bhairahawa were cancelled.
“Visibility in the area had gone down to 600. When the visibility goes below 1,000, flights are generally cancelled. Airline companies are not allowed to conduct flights when visibility is poor,”
– Tek Raj Pokhrel, Chief, CAAN Bhairahawa
According to Thakur, there are about 20 flights that fly to Lukla, 18-18 to Pokhara sector and 9-10 to Bhairahawa on a daily basis, despite it being off-season for tourists.
Updates at a Glance:
While various parts of the country have been inundated due to rain, here are some important updates regarding relief measures and support:
As per the FFS forecast, the eastern and central regions will witness average rainfall, some parts of the eastern range will experience average to high rainfall while some other parts of the country may receive average rainfall today. Overall the water level in all major rivers will gradually begin to see a decline.
The Indian Embassy at Kathmandu says that the pilgrims are being taken care of and given proper medical attention. Arrangements are being made to facilitate food and water
It has also developed multiple helplines for pilgrims and their family members to connect with each other. Following are the helpline numbers: +977-9851107006,+977-9851155007,+977-9851107021, +977-9818832398
Hope for a Sunny Sky
We hope that the Nepal Government with help from police, army, tour and airline operators will be able to rescue more people and bring the situation across the country under control. With so many measures already in place we are sure that the country will be able to tackle the situation in future too.