Serious flooding and landslides in Nepal

Since 11th August, the heaviest rains for 15 years have brought landslides and widespread flooding to 27 districts in the south of Nepal, most of them prodominantly poorer areas, and several of them still recovering from the lasting effects of the earthquakes of 2015. Over 100 people have died, and many are injured or missing as more than 8000 trained  security staff with helicopters and motorboats are engaged

Flooding near Janakpur

with rescue and relief work, struggling in continuing rain, to help the hundreds of thousands estimated to have been affected by this new disaster. To make things harder, a number of roads and bridges are reported to be damaged by landslides and river flooding and so the extent of damage and need is not clearly known yet. We are trying to find out how things are at Lalgadh, but have not heard yet. We do know that some national communications networks are damaged, so it may

Ratu river next to Lalgadh (which is up on the bank at the left)

be hard for them to communicate. Lalgadh is higher than the surrounding ground, but can suffer badly from erosion damage from the adjacent Ratu river which is mostly empty as in the picture on the left, but can fill across its quarter-mile width and becomes a very large and dangerous mass of water. There are river training defences – one of which can be seen at left, but in a bad flood they would be swept away.

A street in south Nepal in the current floods

But whilst we are worried about infrastructure, there are thousands of people whose livelihoods and homes have been washed away or buried under mud. As mentioned above, in several districts where people were affected by the earthquake, the slow pace of relief work – especially for poorer people who perhaps had informal land ownership and did not fit into the governments criteria for help – has meant that some people still trying to get their life back together have now had it washed away and are back at square one. The news carries heartrending stories – one family was washed away when their house was swept away. Mum died, dad is missing, two of the children were caught in the branches of a tree and survived, and the third child was carried 15 kilometres by the flood water and held onto a table and got caught in a drain and survived. Please pray for those affected and those trying to bring relief. It is a very difficult time for Nepal.

 

travellers getting from plane to airport building at Janakpur

 

A man crossing a road at Birgunj