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Flooding kills six in Nepal

Heavy rains cause landslides and fever outbreaks

Central Kathmandu has not escaped the flooding (photo by Chirendra Satyal) Central Kathmandu has not escaped the flooding (photo by Chirendra Satyal)
  • Chirendra Satyal, Kathmandu
  • Nepal
  • September 18, 2012
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At least six people have died following floods and landslides caused by heavy rains across the country with many more people stranded as airlines grounded flights and roads were swept away.

Four members of the same family died when they were buried alive in a landslide today in western Kalikot district and another two people were swept away by rivers swollen by three days of heavy rains.

One victim was a woman in central Tanahu district and the other a man in the far west of Nepal in Dhangadi district.

The death toll was expected to rise as reports continued to come in from remote, mountainous areas, many of which have been cut off by the floods.

Some areas of the country have seen a spate of cases of viral fever, an infection caused by contaminated food and water, which typically follows flooding in developing countries.

Sisters of Charity of Nazareth nun Sister Cecelia Simick, who runs a mobile health clinic around western Surkhet district, said seven people died from viral fever last week.

Meanwhile, a number of areas with new cases had been cut off by the floods, meaning the sick were unable to access treatment.

“It is especially hard for families of sick people,” said Sister Simick.

More than 40 tourists were stranded yesterday in central Gorkha district close to Mount Manaslu after the area was hit by storms.

Helicopters were unable to reach them, the Himalayan Times reported today.

Captain Ryan Rai, a senior pilot for Nepal’s Yeti Airlines, said half of Kathmandu’s 100 daily flights were canceled yesterday, most of which were connections to airstrips higher up in the Himalayas.

“Amidst low visibility, many flights are not taking off today too,” he said.

Nepal’s rainy season – which typically starts at the beginning of May and finishes during the last week of September – had produced less rain than usual up to the past few days, according to weather reports from Kathmandu.

Meteorologists have forecast rainfall at twice the seasonal average and continued flooding across the country during the last week of the monsoon, which is due to end on September 23.

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