Floods and Landslides Update - Issue #1

Situation Report
Originally published
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This update is issued by the UN RCHC Office with inputs from UN Field Coordination Offices and other partners. The next update will be issued based on the evolving situation


Current Situation: Floods and Landslides

Floods and landslides triggered by monsoon rains that began in the last week of June have caused damage across the country in 14 districts. The Terai lowlands were the worst affected by the floods, resulting in 25 deaths, with 4 persons injured and two missing. According to the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS), six deaths were reported in Kaski district and five deaths were reported in Achham, Tanahu and Palpa districts.
The report further states that 914 families (5,484 individuals) were affected. Of these, 563 families (approximately 3,400 individuals) are displaced from their home locations and are taking shelter in nearby schools, or with adjacent host families. 108 houses have been destroyed and 411 houses are partially affected by floods or landslides.

The rains have also damaged roads, obstructed transport, interrupted telephone services and electricity supplies and inundated agricultural fields. Due to road obstructions, prices of essential daily commodities have increased in several Mid-Western hill districts including Jajarkot, where local traders have hiked prices of essential goods such as rice, pulses and oil due to the increased costs of using mules rather than mechanised transport.

The land route from Khidkijyula (Kalikot) to Jumla is still disrupted. Landslips triggered by the rains have obstructed trails linking villages with district headquarters. Mule services which act as the chief mode of transporting daily commodities throughout these areas have been affected. Landslides, hailstorms and flash floods have destroyed pastures and farmland owned by 176 families, particularly in Rowa VDC. The airline service to Jumla district has been closed for the past week.

Similarly, according to reports from WFP, ferry services connecting Dhankuta-Bhojpur districts and UdaypurOkhaldhunga districts are not operational due to the rise in water levels in the Arun and Koshi rivers respectively.

According to the Assistant Chief District Officer (CDO) in Sunsari, the Koshi River catchment area water flow was recorded as high as 146,080 cubic metres per second (cusec) at 10:30 pm on the 30 th June, which is just 4,000 cusecs below the recognised danger level. So far, no physical damage, or displacement has been reported apart from minor riverbank erosion upstream. According to officials at the Department of Irrigation and the Home Ministry, though the water flow in the river was below the danger level (150,000 cusec), the rapid erosion of spurs along the eastern embankment at Prakashpur in Sunsari remained a concern. Water levels were recorded at 151,700 cusec at 6:15 am on 01 July, higher than the danger level of 150,000 cusec, leading officials at the Koshi barrage control room to switch on warning red lights and raise red flags indicating danger. Twenty of the 55 sluice gates of the barrage have been opened to allow an increased flow of water.