July 3, 2023
KATHMANDU – Water-induced disasters-triggered by heavy monsoon rains affected daily life in various parts of the country on Saturday.
Transportation disruption on major highways has been reported in several places within the past 24 hours, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. Threat of flooding looms large in the riverside settlements due to incessant rains. Gandaki and Lumbini provinces were hardest hit by the monsoon mayhem.
The Mugling-Narayanghat road section, one of the country’s busiest travel routes, was frequently disrupted as heavy rains caused landslides since Thursday. The vehicular movement was on and off thanks to the landslides along the 36-km long road stretch.
Meanwhile, the situation along the Aryabhanjyang-Ramdi road section in Palpa is no better. Traffic was disrupted from early on Saturday following a mudslide caused by incessant rainfall in the area.
Efforts from personnel from the local area police and the road division have been to no avail as the flow of mud from the hill continues to pile on the road. According to the Chief of Road Division Pradeep Niraula, all excavators are constantly occupied during the rainy season due to the simultaneous occurrence of multiple landslides.
“Landslides keep occurring in multiple places at the same time,” Niraula said. “Since the local units offer no support, we have to work on our own to clear traffic in all places.”
The rains inundated paddy fields in Madiphant area of Palpa. According to Rajesh Kumar Aryal, the ward chairman of Tansen Municipality-9, around 2000 ropanis land in Madiphant that lies in some part of Tansen Municipality and Baganaskali and Mathagadhi rural municipalities.
Similarly, transportation was disrupted along the Beni-Jomsom road section due to multiple landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains. A landslide blocked the road stretch at Baisari in Raghuganga Rural Municipality-2 and Nagdhunga at Annapurna Rural Municipality-2 in Myagdi district on Saturday. We have a tough time to clear the debris and resume transportation as it has been raining continuously in the area, said police.
The western parts of the country have been put on high alert as incessant rainfall causes water levels to rise at an alarming rate. At the Tinau river near Butwal, the water level has reached the danger zone and continues to rise, prompting authorities to send warning alerts.
According to the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, the river is considered to have reached warning levels when the river’s water level reaches 5.3 metres. Crossing 5.6 metres means it has reached the department’s red zone.
Water level in the Narayani river is also rising as the region has been experiencing continuous rainfall for the past 14 hours. Although no untoward incidents have happened as of yet, everyone has been advised to stay alert.
The Nawalpur district has received the most rain in the last 24 hours, recording 275.4 mm of rainfall in the time period. Likewise, the Syangja district has also experienced alarming levels of rain, recording 204.4 mm since yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Flood Forecasting Division under the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology on Saturday afternoon warned of floods in riverside settlements and landslides due to incessant rainfall in some districts of Gandaki and Lumbini provinces.
Sunil Pokharel, senior hydrologist of the division, said there is a high risk of landslides due to sporadic heavy rains for the last 24 hours.
According to the division, the rainfall in the last 24 hours has exceeded the threshold in Syangja, Dang, Nawalpur, Rupandehi, Palpa and Tanahun districts. In the last 24 hours, the maximum rainfall of 220 mm was recorded in the Danda area in Nawalpur.
The Meteorological Forecasting Division recorded 159 mm rainfall in Koilabas of Dang, 167 in Tilottama of Rupandehi, 178 in Gandakot of Palpa, 276 in Deurali Nawal of Nawalpur and 141 in Malunga of Syangja. Likewise, Atraulitar of Tanahun received 187 mm of rainfall, Tansen of Palpa 169 and Bhairahawa of Rupandehi 136. According to the division, there is a risk of floods and landslides in a particular place if precipitation exceeding 60 mm is recorded within an hour, 80 mm in three hours, 100 mm in six hours, 120 mm in 12 hours and 140 mm in 24 hours.
Urban areas including Kathmandu are inundated when rainfall exceeding 60 mm occurs within an hour, according to Pokharel. The flood forecasting division has asked people living in Tinahu riverside settlements to stay alert as the water level of the river has crossed the danger mark.
The water level has also increased in some small rivers in Koshi, Gandaki, Lumbini and Sudurpaschim provinces. The division has also warned of flash floods in streams flowing through the Chure region. The division has also warned of flash floods in Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Palpa and Nawalparasi.