3rd LD Writethru: Death toll rises to eight in landslide in Nepal
KATHMANDU, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) — Security personnel involved in the rescue efforts at the landslide-hit zone in Nepal have so far recovered eight dead bodies from the mud, locals and police said on Saturday.
“It has been confirmed that the death toll from the landslide has reached eight,” Ram Nagarkoti, a villager who is offering assistance to the rescue operation, told Xinhua over phone.
He also said 16 other people that had been trapped under the mud were rescued alive.
“Of the rescued injured, the condition of five is critical and we are trying to send them to Kathmandu for urgent treatment,” a police personnel said by phone.
A massive landslide caused by continual rain hit Sindupalchowk district in Nepal’s eastern hilly region at around 2 a.m. early Saturday morning, affecting more than eight villages nearby.
Nepal’s local media said that as much as 100 houses were swept away after the water level of Sunkoshi River increased rapidly following the blockage created by the landslide, while local administration offices in the region said earlier that the Araniko Highway, one of the shortest and busiest routes that connects Nepal with China’s Tibet, has also been buried.
Local authorities has announced high alert while locals are being evacuated to safer places.
Meanwhile, Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) to take measures to release the blocked water from the Sunkoshi River and to ensure safety among the villagers and nearby residents.
Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, a spokesperson at MoHA, told Xinhua that the blocked river has already caused a huge storage of water of around 3 km long, 300 meters width and 90 meters depth.
He said though the government’s first priority is to release water from the blocked river, it has been difficult due to the tremendous amount of mud and difficult location.
As many as 300 rescuers from the country’s Army, Armed Police Force and police, as well as locals and people from nearby areas are carrying out the rescue efforts, sources from the crash site told Xinhua. Enditem