HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
SARDIKHOLA: Seventeen bodies of those missing in Seti River’s flash flood yesterday were recovered till this evening while 47 are still missing.
Personnel of Nepali Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force had been carrying out rescue operation since early this morning. Security forces involved in the rescue operation say the number of missing could be much higher and there was a fat chance of finding anyone alive.
Police said Bibek Acharya (19), Dipendra Hamal (19) and Raj Ghale (31) were rescued on Saturday evening.
Sniffer dogs have been deployed for the rescue operation, DIGP Rajendrasingh Bhandari said.
Identities of 12 bodies have been ascertained so far and they were handed over to their families. Five bodies whose identities were yet to be known were kept at Western Regional Hospital, Pokhara.
Bodies were found from Yamdipul, Nadipur, Hemaja’s Masinabagar, Bharatpokhari, Nirmalpokharai, Ghachowk and Kharapana of Sardikhola.
Preliminary investigation showed that flash flood destroyed four houses, 16 huts and a bridge at Kharapani. Seven tractors, three mini trucks, one heavy truck and a motorcycle were swept away. Flash flood also swept away 52 goats and seven buffaloes.
Meanwhile, a high-level government team comprising Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Home Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, Chief Secretary Madhav Ghimire and Home Secretary Sushil Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana today inspected the area affected by flash flood. They made an aerial observation of the Seti River’s source.
The PM expressed his displeasure to CDO and Regional Security Chief for shoddy rescue operation.
He announced that from PM’s Relief Fund families of each victim will be provided Rs 1 lakh as relief, Rs 25,000 for the final rites of the deceased and Rs 25,000 for landless kin of victims. He also said the government would provide free treatment to those injured. For relief distribution and management, Unified Working Team has been formed under the coordination of Kaski CDO.