Floods, landslides claim 30 lives in Nepal

A flood in Biratnagar in August 2017

A flood in Biratnagar in August 2017

Severe monsoon flooding and landslides killed almost two dozen people in eastern Nepal on Saturday.

The torrential rains hit the country's southern plains and eastern hills, triggering landslides and inundating hundreds of towns and villages.

The death toll due to flooding and landslides across Nepal since Friday reached 49, officials said.

Army and police personnel continued search and rescue operations, with more than 34,000 houses submerged, the official added.

Police said they recovered six bodies.

But dozens were still missing somewhere at the bottom of the ravine, with soldiers and rescuers clawing through the mud and rock to reach them.

The District Natural Disaster Rescue Committee in its emergency meeting estimated that around 50,000 people have been hugely affected as floodwaters destroyed foodstuff and other belongings.

The command post was formed to intensify the rescue works as the country has been hit by floods and landslides since the past few days.

"Monsoon rains and floods in the past two weeks have affected more than 100,000 people".

The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology said further heavy rains were expected on Sunday in the country's central and mid-western regions.

"It has left extensive damage", said Dipak Kafle, a spokesman for Nepal's Home Ministry.

Of the 600 tourists stranded in the Chitwan Valley, almost 200 were from India and about the same number from other countries.

Biratnagar airport in the eastern district of Morang was closed after being submerged in a metre of water, authorities at the global terminal said.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba addressed the nation on Saturday evening and announced relief to the victims.

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