Bhutan and Nepal – Flash Floods Leave at Least 10 Dead, Many Missing

At least 10 people have died in Bhutan after heavy monsoon rainfall triggered flash flooding in a remote mountain camp in Laya. Meanwhile rain has also triggered flash floods and landslides in parts of nearby Nepal, where officials say several people are reported missing.

Floods in Sindhupalchowk, Nepal, June 2021. Photo: Nepal Red Cross


Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said in a statement that 10 people have died and 5 are injured, 2 of them seriously, in the tragedy which struck in the early hours of 16 June. The victims are believed to be a group that was collecting cordyceps at a site in Laya.

Rescue efforts are continuing and helicopters have been mobilized to evacuate the injured. A rescue team including personnel from the military has been sent to the affected area, which is extremely remote.

The Prime Minister offered his condolences to the bereaved families and the community of Laya. He also urged people across the country to avoid visiting or camping near rivers and to be aware of the dangers brought by heavy rainfall during the monsoon.


Heavy rainfall has also affected parts of Nepal over the last few days. In a 24 hour period to 16 June, 162.4 mm of rain fell at Baglung and 162.6 mm at Darbang.

River levels jumped and as of late 15 June the Narayani at Devghat, Chitwan district, stood at 10.1 metres, well above the danger mark of 9 metres, while the Balefi river at Jalbire, Sindhupalchowk district, stood at 7.15 metres, where the danger mark is 7 metres.

According to media reports citing a Home Ministry official, 7 people are missing after flash floods in Melamchi, Sindhupalchowk district. However full assessments are still to be completed.

Nepal’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority reported severe flash flooding in Manang district on 15 June. Heavy rainfall triggered several landslide across the country since 14 June and damaged a house in Bedkot, Kanchanpur district.

A few days earlier NDRRMA reported 1 person missing after floods in Bhairabi Rural Municipality, Dailekh District, on 10 June 2021. A landslide destroyed a house in Pancheshwar Rural Municipality, Baitadi District on the same day. Local media reported flooding in Beni, Myagdi District, damaged around 7 buildings on 11 June, 2021.

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Featured image: For illustration only. River in Nepal. Credit: Nepal Army