According to Nepal’s Interior Ministry, 77 people have died in floods and landslides this week after heavy rains that began on Monday. Some 22 people were injured, and 26 are missing.
The floods mainly occurred in areas close to the neighboring northern Indian state of Uttarakhand in western Nepal.
According to officials in both the states, at least 46 people have died in Uttarakhand and 27 bodies have been recovered in the southern Indian state of Kerala.
Heavy rains began over the weekend in both the states, resulting in landslides, collapse of bridges and houses and flooding of rivers. Aerial footage of the affected areas showed villages partially submerged in flood waters.
“The floods have caused huge damage… crops have been destroyed,” Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami told Reuters partner ANI after surveying the damage late on Tuesday.
“Local people are facing a lot of problems, roads are flooded, bridges have been washed away.”
According to senior police officer Ashok Kumar, in Uttarakhand, Nainital district was the most affected area with the highest number of deaths. At least 3,000 people had to be evacuated from a barge on the Sharda river, which overflowed on Monday, he said.
The floods come in the middle of a religious pilgrimage called the Chardham Yatra, during which Hindus from across India travel to Uttarakhand.
According to Gujarat Disaster Management Minister Rajendra Trivedi, more than 100 pilgrims from the western state of Gujarat were visiting Uttarakhand when the floods struck.
Six of those pilgrims got stuck in the upper reaches of Kedarnath, one of the major shrines. Trivedi said on Tuesday that a helicopter was sent to evacuate the pilgrims, but inclement weather thwarted the rescue efforts. By Wednesday, the water level was low enough for pilgrims and residents to find safe shelter.
The pilgrimage has been temporarily suspended, and will resume once the rains subside.
Two observatories in the state’s Kumaon region, where Nainital is located, recorded 340.8 millimeters (13.4 in) and 403.2 millimeters (15.8 in) of rain, respectively, the region’s highest rainfall recorded in a 24-hour period. Has been done. The Indian Meteorological Department gave this information on Tuesday.
The Himalayan state is particularly vulnerable to floods. More than 200 people were feared dead after a hydroelectric dam washed away in a flash flood in February.
Meanwhile in Kerala, over 200 families are currently in 26 evacuation camps across the state. With heavy rains forecast to continue in the coming days, state officials are urging residents to stay indoors.
Additional reporting by Reuters.
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