Floods Nepal July 2013

More torrential rainfall has brought further flooding in Nepal. The country suffered in early June at the same time nearby states in India – Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh – were flooded. Heavy rainfall has been continuous for around 3 days in parts Nepal, in particular the eastern parts of the country.

The worst of the floods struck on Wednesday 10th July and so far have resulted in 5 deaths and 3 people missing. Around 1,200 houses were flooded in the Saptari district after river embankments were breached. As many as 2000 families across eastern Nepal have been displaced by the floods so far. Media reports are somewhat confused about the precise locations of the flooding. The best I can make out so far is that the districts of Sunsari, Saptari, Jhapa, Udayapur and Morang have been worst affected.

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Floods and Dams
There have been reports that the Tikauli dam breached due to the flood. Also the controversial Banbassa Barrage and Koshi Barrage have been opened, increasing the likelihood of flooding in Indian states. The Banbasa barrage lies on the border between Nepal and Uttarakhand, India in the western part of Nepal, away from their current floods situation. However, according to Chennai Online:

The flood situation in Uttar Pradesh has worsened following heavy rainfall and release of water from Banbasa barrage in Nepal.

Another Indian state, Bihar, also suffers when flood gates are opened upstream in Nepal. The Koshi barrage is often blamed for flooding in this particular part of India. Bihar is currently suffering from floods claimed to be “the worst in 50 years”. On Wednesday 10th July 37 of the 52 flood gates of the Koshi dam were opened by authorities in Nepal. The flood gates required to be opened after levels of the Saptakoshi River rose to danger levels measuring 274,200 cubic feet per second.

Rescue and relief efforts in Nepal are continuing for flood victims. According to Nepal News:

In the meantime, District Natural Disaster Control and Relief Committee, Morang held an emergency meeting to find possible solutions to rescue people from flood affected and inundated areas. The meeting chaired by Ganesh Raj Karki, Chief District Officer (CDO), held discussions to manage rescue support to the flood affected and inundated areas.

The meeting also reviewed the rescue efforts made in the initiatives of the committee and thought for possible arrangement for food, shelter, clothes, security, and health condition of the rescued people in the district. The committee has urged the government and non-government organizations to support in data collection and relief distribution to the flood victims.

Sources: Nepal News