Nepal: Monsoon Floods and Landslides - Information Bulletin n° 1


This bulletin is being issued for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS), with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), will seek funding through Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) activation to provide support to the affected population.

The situation

The monsoon rain that started from last week of June has triggered flooding and landslides in many parts of the country. However, the rainfall became more intense in the second week of July 2020. Although the rainfall was diluted in the third week of July, it has now intensified with reported incidents of floods and landslides in many parts of the country. As a result, many rivers have crossed the warning level and are expected to cross the danger level with high chances of inundation. The incessant rainfall from 28 July in Kailali district caused inundation which has affected hundreds of households. As of 29 July 2020, 141 people have lost their lives, mostly due to landslide in hilly districts, with at least another 57 missing1 . According to NRCS’s situation report as of 30 July 2020, 15,307 families (76,535 people) have been affected in various districts and 7,106 families (35,530 people) have been displaced. There are crucial needs for shelter items, food items and WASH services in the affected districts. In addition, in case of inundation in the terai region due to the excessive rainfall, there is a high risk of waterborne disease outbreaks.

NRCS has deployed at least 85 Red Cross Red Crescent trained volunteers on the ground to provide various immediate response like initial assessment, search and rescue, first aid, evacuation and immediate relief as needed.
NRCS volunteers are also mobilized by all affected NRCS district chapters and are working continuously together with local authorities to conduct an initial rapid assessment (IRA) and relief distribution as well as support communities to be safe and prepared for the worsening floods.

NRCS is also working together with the government, Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners and other organizations in COVID-19 preparedness and response operation. This changing context also increases the risks of COVID-19 spread. The floods and landslides are currently in pocket areas and are localized in the districts. Considering the scale of the disaster and its effects, NRCS in coordination with the IFRC seeks to activate the DREF to provide support to the affected population. NRCS will implement the activities supported through DREF in close coordination with the local authorities.

The floods and landslides have damaged infrastructures such as roads connecting district headquarters to the affected municipalities and local markets as well as to livestock, agricultural land and crops, and daily consumables. According to the weather forecast by the Government of Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, the heavy rainfall starting from 28 July may cause increased water levels in most of major rivers in the country, possibly having high flow reaching to warning level or even crossing the warning level in Province 1, 2, 5, Gandaki and Sudur Paschim.

In addition, the department has issued warning of chances of flash flood in small rivers in the said provinces.
Following the floods and landslides, NRCS district chapters volunteers are assisting the local authorities to conduct rapid assessments and provide relief services to the affected people. The government’s security personnel (Nepali Army, Armed Police Force and Nepal Police) are in high alert to evacuate affected families from high-risk areas to shelters in the schools and public places in case of need. In addition, NRCS sub-chapters’ volunteers are actively involved in disseminating the flood and landslide alert, which will help communities to evacuate on time in affected districts.

The Government of Nepal has mobilized security forces including Nepali Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force for search and rescue efforts as well as to evacuate people from high-risk areas as and when needed. The local government is providing the relief assistance to the affected families together with other humanitarian agencies in the affected districts. The Nepal National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) has been issuing daily disaster reports including the monsoon-induced data and information on a daily basis. In addition, the Ministry of Home Affairs has started to provide daily updates on monsoon-induced disaster via its Nepal Disaster Risk Reduction Portal.