Floods wreak havoc in Tarai, thousands displaced

Biratnagar/Rautahat, July 12

Floods triggered by incessant rainfall for the past two days have affected thousands of families in the southern plain of the country.

Over 500 households have been displaced by floods in different places of Morang district. In Biratnagar Metropolis alone, some 310 households in slum and Musahar settlements have been displaced, while the next highest number of displaced families is reported in Katahari Municipality-4, where around 125 households of a squatter settlement were compelled to leave their homes due to flood. Besides, 40 families in Jahada Rural Municipality-1 and 16 were also displaced after floods from the Singhiya and the Dangraha Khadam rivers inundated human settlements.

Vehicles wading through the flooded East-West Highway at Chandi Lachka in Rautahat district, on Friday, July 12, 2019. Photo: Prabhat Kumar Jha/THT
Vehicles wading through the flooded East-West Highway at Chandi Lachka in Rautahat district, on Friday, July 12, 2019. Photo: Prabhat Kumar Jha/THT

The displaced families are staying at their kin’s, community schools and on the open safer grounds.

Floods have also wreaked havoc in Udayapur, Saptari and Sarlahi districts. While places like Sakela Tol, Musahar Settlement and Purano Gaighat in Udayapur have been inundated by floods, different wards of Rajbiraj Municipality and Hanumannagar Kankalini Municipality in Saptari have been inundated following incessant rainfall. According to Lakhan Mukhiyan of Gobargadha village surrounded by the Koshi river, locals in the village have lost their sleep due to fear. In Sarlahi, some 150 families had to be relocated at a school ground after an entire village in Barahathawa Municipality-15 was inundated.

Rautahat has also suffered huge damage due to floods, as dozens of villages in places like Auraiya, Badaharwa, Laxmipur, Banjaraha, Parsa, Dharampur, Gadho, Belbichhawa have been submerged in floodwaters and scores of families had to be rescued from flooded settlements. Monsoon flood has also affected settlements in the district headquarters Gaur. In Gadhimai Municipality-3 of the district, security personnel and locals rescued 150 persons of 20 families after flooded Bagmati river breached its embankment and gushed into human settlements. Fifteen families were rescued in Badaharwa in Durga Bhagawati Rural Municipality, while some 200 households on the banks of the river in Pakahabakhari settlement of Madhav Narayan Municipality are at risk.

“As it’s raining continuously, we’ve asked the people living on the banks of the rivers to be on high alert,” said Chief District Officer Kiran Thapa of Rautahat, adding security personnel of all three security agencies have been alerted for rescue.

Floods have also affected life in Dhanusha and Siraha, where the locals have been alerted of the rising water level in local rivulets. In Dhanusha, continuous precipitation has affected Janakpur, the temporary provincial headquarters, where roads have been waterlogged beyond operation, while rainwater have entered houses. In view of the rising water level in the Kamala river bordering Dhanusha and Siraha districts, security personnel have been working to reinforce the river banks and are at standby for possible rescue operation. In Siraha, places like Lahan, Golbazaar, Mirchaiya have been swamped with rainwater caused by heavy precipitation.

Incessant rainfall has resulted in rising water level in the Saptakoshi River and streams, including Tengra, Budhi and Mariya in Sunsari district. Dozens of families have been displaced after floodwater from Tengra stream entered human settlements in Itahari-10. Floods have also affected over a dozen industries in the Sunsari-Morang Industrial Corridor. Some 45 families in Basantapur have to be relocated to safer place.