Govt declares state of emergency along Saptakoshi river

  • Eight people confirmed dead
  • 14 airlifted to Kathmandu
  • 90-100 meter high dam formed blocking the Sunkoshi river altogether
  • Govt asks technical assistance from China and India 
  • Army plans controlled explosion
  • Four flown into Capital
  • China, India ready for technical assistance: Minister Gautam
  • PM directs swift rescue
  • Home Ministry directs to open all doors of Saptakoshi barrage

Sunkoshi_DamAt least eight persons have been killed when a massive landslideblocked Sunkoshi River at Mankha VDC in Sindhupalchowk district on Saturday morning.

At least eight persons have been killed when a massive landslide blocked Sunkoshi River at Mankha VDC in Sindhupalchowk district on Saturday morning. The death toll, however, is expected to rise as many are feared to have gone missing in the landslide.

The landslide that occurred at around 2 am this morning has blocked the Sunkoshi River stopping the water flow and forming a large pool in the area.

Bodies of two females, three males and one minor have been recovered from the site. A Nepal Army chopper has been deployed to intensify the rescue work.

Local administration informed that around two dozens houses were buried in the landslide. The landslide has also buried Arniko Highway at Dam Site in Mankha VDC bringing traffic along the highway to a standstill.

Locals in Barhabishe, Lamesanghu, Khadichaur, Dolalghat, among other surrounding areas have moved to higher grounds fearing that the blocked river may burst anytime.

Chief District Officer Gopal Prasad Parajuli informed that the administration has been discussing on dropping a bomb from a NA chopper and allow the water to run off.

Army plans controlled explosion

Nepal Army spokesperson Jagdish Chandra Pokharel said that a team of experts and engineers has reached the landslide site with explosive to carry out the controlled explosion and funnel out the water. Nepal Police spokesperson SSP Ganesh KC also said that the authorities were trying to conduct a controlled blast to safely drain out the water.

Four flown into Capital

Four persons—three Nepali and a Belgium citizen—injured in the landslide have been flown into the Capital. They have been admitted at B&B Hospital in Gwarko for treatment.

Home Ministry directs to open all doors of Saptakoshi barrage

Home Ministry has directed to open all the 56 sluicegates at Saptakoshi barrage fearing the possible flash flood inSunkoshi river would inflict heavy damages on the sluicegates.

China, India ready for technical assistance: Minister Gautam

Meanwhile, Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam has said that neighboring countries India and China have offered to provide any kind of technical assistance to solve the Sunkoshi crisis. He also informed that the around 700 security personnel have been deployed in the landslide site.

PM directs swift rescue

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has directed home ministry for the controlled release of water from the blocked river and avert the impending crisis and protect lives and properties.

PM’s secretariat issued a press statement today and directed the concerned authorities to coordinate among themselves and carry out the rescue operation.

The Central Disaster Relief Committee has also urged the government to declare the areas downstream the blocked Sunkoshi River as “crisis-hit region”.

Source : ekantipur/Republica