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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid