At least 18 houses were swept away and more than 1,200 people displaced after the swollen Melamchi River coursed through settlements in Sindhupalchowk last night.

Fortunately, no loss of life was reported as locals residing in high risk areas were warned of the likelihood of flash floods. Those residing near the banks of the river had abandoned homes in the nick of time. Sagar Shreshta, a local activist in Melamchi bazaar, said, "Last evening we were warned of the rising water level in the Melamchi River. People living near the banks of the river had enough time to shift to safer places. However, their houses and household stuff were swept away."

The swollen river swept away at least six houses in Melamchi Bazaar, where at least 24 people were killed during the June 14-15 flood.

The building that housed Radio Melamchi and its tower suffered huge damage.

Unlike floods in June that wreaked havoc in Melamchi Bazaar, last night's flood inundated high altitude villages in Helambu Rural Municipality.

The river also swept away the popular Red Bridge, the only bridge that connected Helambu to the rest of Nepal.

All the other bridges were swept away during the June 14-15 flood.

Head of Helambu Rural Municipality Nima Gyaljen said at least 12 houses located near the banks of the Melamchi River in Chanaute and Kiul areas were swept away and dozen others were in danger of being swept away due to the flood that has continued since last night.

Like the June 14-15 flood, yesterday's flood was also caused by a landslide at Bhimthang (3,720 metres), trapping a large mass of water that suddenly burst wreaking havoc on low lying areas along the river, said Gyaljen, who had visited the area only a few days ago.

Officials of Melamchi Drinking Water Project had concluded in their preliminary research that the June 14-15 flood was caused by a landslide at Bhimthang.

The flood has also damaged head works of the MDWP at Ambathan where the major pipeline that runs from the Melamchi River to the tunnel has been under at least 10-metre thick silt.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 2 2021, of The Himalayan Times.