Kathmandu, June 17

At least 15 people, including Indian and Chinese nationals, have gone missing and are thus feared dead after the flood in the Melamchi River wreaked havoc at Melamchi Bazaar and other low lying areas along the Indrawati river basin in Sindhupalchowk district.

Sindhupalchowk had witnessed torrential rainfall since the morning of June 15. On the evening of the same day, the low land areas along the Indrawati river basin were inundated.

The area was covered by flash flood which occurred after a gorge in a high mountain area around 30 kilometres from Melamchi was blocked due to landslide. The landslide had blocked the river and made a huge dam-like structure, which eventually broke all of a sudden, sweeping away the market area in the lower plains of Melamchi Bazaar.

The flood had also destroyed the Melamchi Drinking Water Project at Melamchi.

Six foreign nationals of neighbouring India and China have gone missing. Of them, bodies of two Chinese and one Indian national have been recovered, as per the spokesperson of MDWP Rajendra Prasad Pant.

Of them, the identity of only two Chinese nationals; Yu Tie Zhu and Gong Tianxiau, along with India's Kamal Lochan Mahato have been identified.

Zhu and Mahato's bodies were found hundreds of kilometres downstream at Sunkoshi river in Sindhuli district while Tianxiau's body was found several kilometres downstream at Indrawati river bank.

Two more citizens of India, Bijay Basumantari and Jindawo Basumantari and China's Sun You Chuan, including two other Nepali employees at MDWP have gone missing.

Issuing a notice, Sindhupalchowk District Administration Office has made public the names of those who have gone missing in the flash flood, which includes Madhav Bhandari, Ganesh Jyoti, Tika Maya Khadka, Gyanendra Kachyapati, Surendra Nepal, Changa Tamang, Kali Tamang, Resham Lal Sarki, Hemraj Ghimire, Bijay Basumantari, Sunil Tamang, Purna Tamang, Kami Tamang and his septuagenarian mother (name u nknown).

"The number of deceased people is likely to increase in the coming days as more and more people have come forward with complaints of missing family members," said Chief District Officer Arun Pokharel of Sindhupalchowk.

Nepali Army and Nepal Police have claimed to have rescued a total of 74 people, who were trapped in the flood, with choppers. Around 200 families have been displaced by the flood while over 1,000 families have been relocated to safer places to minimise further loss and damage.

The DAO also said the floods had destroyed four modern concrete bridges and five suspension bridges, among other government-owned physical infrastructure.

Similarly, seven trout fish farms located near the river have been washed away. At least eight workers have gone missing from the farms.

Meanwhile, incessant rainfall has subsided in the area and the flood has gradually started decreasing in the area.

Daily life of the general public in the area is not likely to return to normalcy anytime soon since their houses have been covered by a metre of thick mud.

As per the locals, the damaged bridges and streets have also hindered the re-establishment of the family and relief packages in the affected areas.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 18, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.