News / Asia

India Fears Massive Flooding from Nepal Landslide

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel evacuate villagers at Supaul district in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, August 3, 2014.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel evacuate villagers at Supaul district in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, August 3, 2014.
Reuters

More than 400,000 people in eastern India face the risk of flooding after a landslide that killed at least nine people in neighboring Nepal, an Indian government official said on Sunday, as thousands were being evacuated.

The landslide triggered by heavy rains has left scores of people missing and has created a mud dam blocking the Sunkoshi river, which runs into India's Bihar state as the Kosi river.

The fear is that as Nepal tries to blast its way through the landslide to clear it, it will unleash a torrent of water across densely populated Bihar.

Around 425,000 people could be affected by the floods and authorities have already evacuated 44,000 across seven districts of Bihar, said Ashok Kumar, an officer at the state's disaster management unit.

“We are shifting people from the area where the water is expected to reach,” Kumar said. He added that 117 relief camps have been set up in the region so far.

Residents forced to leave

In some places the authorities have had to force people to leave their homes, said S.S. Guleria, deputy inspector general at the National Disaster Response Force.

“Many are unwilling to leave their homes, but we are trying to evacuate them by force, keeping in view the impending troubles,” Guleria said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Kathmandu to speed up negotiations on a power trade pact, has expressed concern over the situation in Bihar and said all possible assistance should be made available.

The home ministry said in a statement that while the amount of water that had flowed downstream so far was not alarming, the flow could increase suddenly at any time.

Indian government officials said on Saturday that water levels were already above the danger mark.

Nepal police spokesman, Ganesh K.C. said 150 people were still missing after the landslide that struck Sindhupalchowk district early on Saturday. Around 40 people were rescued, but the chances of finding more survivors were fading.

Gopal Prasad Parajuli, governor of Nepal's Sindhupalchowk, said further small earth slips had been recorded after the massive landslide, hampering rescue and search operations.

Controlled Blast

Army technicians were preparing to set off another controlled blast to drain more water off of the mud dam on Sunday. They carried out two such blasts on Saturday.

“We are very cautiously and slowly doing that to avoid sudden and big flow of water,” army spokesman Jagadish Pokharel said.

The Kosi river has been a problem for both India and Nepal after it broke its banks in 2008 and changed its course, submerging swaths of land, affecting more than 2 million people in Bihar and killing more than 500.

Monsoon rains are crucial for farm-dependent India and Nepal, but scores of people die every year in landslides and floods caused by heavy downpours.

Heavy rains in June last year inundated towns and villages and killed thousands in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and dozens more in the neighboring district of Darchula in west Nepal.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid