News / Asia

India Evacuates Thousands to Avoid Floods

A man uses an umbrella to protect himself from rain as he walks through the flooded banks of river Ganga in the northern Indian city of Allahabad, Aug. 4, 2014.A man uses an umbrella to protect himself from rain as he walks through the flooded banks of river Ganga in the northern Indian city of Allahabad, Aug. 4, 2014.
x
A man uses an umbrella to protect himself from rain as he walks through the flooded banks of river Ganga in the northern Indian city of Allahabad, Aug. 4, 2014.
A man uses an umbrella to protect himself from rain as he walks through the flooded banks of river Ganga in the northern Indian city of Allahabad, Aug. 4, 2014.
Anjana Pasricha

India has evacuated nearly 50,000 people from its eastern Bihar state amid fears of massive flooding from a river that originates in Nepal. The two countries coped with the potential disaster as India’s Prime Minister made a strong push to reinvigorate ties with its tiny Himalayan neighbor during a two-day stop in Kathmandu.

Officials raced Monday to move scores of villages out of a vast swath of land in the Indian state of Bihar that faces the risk of being inundated with waters from the Kosi River.
 
Fears of flooding were triggered after a deadly landslide on Saturday in Nepal, where the Kosi River originates, left behind debris that has blocked the river.
 
Engineers in Nepal are conducting controlled blasts to release the body of accumulated water. This has raised fears that it will rush downstream into India.  
 
Bihar’s chief minister, Jitan Ram Manjhi, appealed to people to leave the areas under threat.
 
He urged people to set aside worries of their homes and belongings, and move into relief camps. He said particularly women, children and the elderly people should promptly evacuate their homes.
 
The people have been housed in more than 100 relief camps.  Air force helicopters and disaster response teams have been deployed.
 
Modi in Kathmandu to reinvigorate ties

The two countries coped with the threat of flooding as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up a two-day visit to Nepal.  
 
During the visit - the first by an Indian leader to Nepal in 17 years - Modi focused on setting aside the neglect and mistrust that have clouded ties.
 
He announced a $1 billion line of credit during an address to Nepalese lawmakers on Sunday.
 
Modi assured Nepal that India’s only objective is to boost the country’s development.  
 
The Indian leader told the Nepalese parliament that he wants to help develop highways, information networks and trans ways, or transmission lines, in Nepal. He said this will help the country integrate with the rest of the world.
 
Landlocked Nepal is dependent on India for its energy supplies and nearly all its trade.
 
Modi also offered to help develop tourism and hydropower projects.
 
The Indian leader eased Nepalese fears of Indian interference in its affairs, saying New Delhi only wants to lend a helping hand in integrating the country in South Asia.
 
Nepal’s fractious political parties have been struggling to write a constitution after the country abolished its monarchy in 2008. The Indian leader underlined the advantages of completing the process, but stressed that New Delhi would not interfere.

Positive response

At Kathmandu’s Centre for Policy Studies, Director Rajju Malla Dhakal said Modi’s outreach to Nepal got a hugely positive response.
 
“It's every euphoric, specially after his address yesterday. There is a lot of optimism. He was deliberately trying to iron out some of the differences, even in his speech,” said Dhakal.
 
Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Nepal is part of a regional diplomacy push in which he has put a priority on building bridges with neighbors.  He sees that as crucial to his goal of turning India into an economic powerhouse and counterbalancing China, which has also been making a push into the region.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs