BARA, Nepal, A freak storm tore down houses and
overturned cars and trucks as it swept across southern Nepal killing at least
27 people and leaving more than 600 injured, officials said Monday as a major
rescue operation gathered pace.
High winds battered the rural district of Bara and adjoining areas late
Sunday. Five children were among the dead, the home ministry said, as
rescuers battled to get relief supplies to the region and evacuate injured.
The winds were so fierce that they overturned a bus carrying passengers,
witnesses said. Houses, trees and electricity pylons were all toppled in the
Whole villages have been flattened and families were left mourning the
death of relatives killed by trees and the debris, an AFP photographer in the
stricken region said. Overturned cars blocked some roads.
Injured victims flocked to local hospitals who were unable to cope, with
some people were airlifted to Kathmandu for treatment.
People who went back into their houses for shelter were crushed, said Jay
Prakash Das, a Bara resident. We rushed out to help. A man had died right
next to our building under a tree. People had fractured bones and many had
head injuries, Das added.
Hot and cold �
I've never seen anything like this. The winds took away everything, my
home and my family, Ram Babu Patel, 45, whose wife was killed in the storm,
I was at home getting ready for dinner when the storm hit � it was
unbelievable. We have nothing left.
Prakash Tharu, a volunteer in Bara district, said the devastation caused by
the storm had left a desperate need for food and relief.
Rescuers struggled to reach many settlements blocked by fallen trees and
electricity poles. Security bodies including the army have been working
intensely since Sunday night on rescues and relief, said Rajesh Poudel,
Bara's district chief.
Every year hundreds die in landslides and floods during Nepal's monsoon
season, but storms causing such high casualties in spring are rare.
The disaster comes as Nepal nears the fourth anniversary of a devastating
earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people and left millions homeless.
Nepal's difficult terrain and limited infrastructure often leaves emergency
workers struggling to reach farflung areas.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli expressed his condolences and said that the
government would do its best for treatment of the injured.
The provincial government has announced free treatment and a financial
assistance of 300,000 rupees ($2,710) for families of the dead.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)