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.
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.
Our hearts are with the people of Laya today, as we hear about the tragedy that struck a group of cordeycep collectors in the highland.
We have coordinated the rescue efforts since 3am. We have lost 10 precious lives.https://t.co/lPxc7jEPpw
— PM Bhutan (@PMBhutan) June 16, 2021
Laya landslides update:
The 19 members rescue team left to Tshari-Jathang site following short cut route at 9 am and they are expected to reach at 6 pm according to Laya Gup Tshering. The usual route from Laya at the site takes three days. pic.twitter.com/TZhikTuNq7
— Bhutan Times (@BhutanT) June 16, 2021
तीन दिनदेखिको अबिरल वर्षाका कारण मनाङ जिल्ला प्रभावित । चामे बजार जोखिममा । ताल बजार डुबानमा । करिव हजार जना प्रभावित । नेपाली सेना, सशस्त्र प्रहरी, नेपाल प्रहरीको ‘रेस्पोन्स’ टोलीद्धारा उद्धार कार्य जारी । पानी परिरहेका कारण उद्धार कार्यमा कठीनाई । pic.twitter.com/Rk8wVA2bGQ
— NDRRMA (@NDRRMA_Nepal) June 15, 2021
माननीय गृहमन्त्री खगराज अधिकारीज्यूको नेतृत्वमा बसेको कार्यकारी समितिको बैठकबाट बाढी, पहिरोबाट प्रभावितहरुको उद्धारमा सबै उपाय अबलम्बन गर्ने र क्षति पुगेका घरहरुको पुनर्निर्माण गर्ने निर्णय।
(मेलम्चीमा बाढीले डुबाएको घरबाट हेलिकोप्टर मार्फत मानिसहरुको उद्धार गरिदै ।) pic.twitter.com/t69po8n7ct
— NDRRMA (@NDRRMA_Nepal) June 16, 2021
“The devastating monsoon flood in Sindhupalchok district has left hundreds of people displaced, & seven missing with intermittent electricity and phone services. NRCS Sindhupalchok District Chapter has mobilized volunteers in the affected area and providing urgent relief items”. pic.twitter.com/FaaEWPiQyh
— Nepal Red Cross Society (@NepalRedCross) June 16, 2021
Featured image: For illustration only. River in Nepal. Credit: Nepal Army