Rescue team reaches remote Nepalese village buried under mudslide
KATHMANDU, Aug 22 (AFP) - Police and soldiers have reached a remote Nepalese village where up to 100 people are feared buried under a mudslide triggered by lashing monsoon rains, state radio said Thursday.
"Helicopters carrying relief materials like clothing, food and other necessary things will be sent to the affected site Thursday morning," the radio said.
"A rescue team comprising army and the police has already reached the site," it added.
The mudslide occurred early Wednesday in Bamti village in Ramechhap district, 80 kilometres (50 miles) southeast of Kathmandu, but bad weather has until now prevented helicopters from reaching the area.
The army and police rescue team set off on foot from nearby villages late Wednesday, an official said.
First reports said 60 people were killed but the radio said Thursday up to 100 people were missing and more than 50 houses destroyed.
"The area is in a remote place and due to adverse weather conditions and poor communication, relief operations could not be carried out yesterday," the radio said.
It said incessant rains continued throughout Wednesday, while weather forecasters predicted more of the same in many parts of the kingdom Thursday.
Before Wednesday's landslide, more than 400 people had already been reported killed in Nepal from monsoon floods.
On Tuesday, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies put the death toll at 422, with another 173 reported missing.
"Concern is growing for flood and landslide victims in Nepal as heavy monsoon rains extend westwards across the country and an exceptionally high snow pack and glacial melt-rate adds to the already swollen river volumes," the Red Cross said in a statement.
Nearly 260,000 people have been badly affected by the floods, the organisation said.
As many as 32,000 people have so far been left homeless but with some areas cut off the Red Cross said the full picture had not yet emerged.
The Red Cross has launched a 2.5-million Swiss franc (1.6 million dollars) appeal to help the Nepal Red Cross to provide 130,000 people with food, shelter, blankets, clothing and water purification tablets.
Torrential rains and tropical storms have lashed large swathes of Asia in recent weeks, triggering floods and landslides that have left hundreds dead.
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Received by NewsEdge Insight: 08/22/2002 02:45:34
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