Saturday, August 9, 2014

East India flood threat eases, 30,000 villagers told to go home

Jatindra Dash at the Thomson Reuters Foundation: About 30,000 evacuated villagers in eastern India began returning home on Tuesday after the threat of floods due to a  landslide in neighbouring Nepal eased, but 100,000 remained in relief camps, government officials said.

The landslide, triggered by heavy rains in Nepal's Sindhupalchowk district on Saturday,  killed at least 33 people and created a mud dam blocking the Sunkoshi river, which flows into India as the Kosi river. Indian authorities, fearing a torrent of water as the Nepalese army tried to clear the landslide, evacuated more than 130,000 villagers in Bihar state over the weekend.

A senior disaster management official said the careful clearing of the landslide across the border had lessened the risk of flash floods and 30,000 evacuees were told to return home. "Some of the districts … in the downstream area such as Darbhanga, Madhubani, Khagaria and Bhagalpur, they may not face the problems anticipated earlier," said Vyasji, principal secretary of Bihar disaster management department.

"We have stopped our evacuation process in these four districts. People who are at the relief camps have been told to go back to their villages," he told Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Patna, Bihar's main city....

The Sunkoshi River in a dryer time, shot by Rajesh2044, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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