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Death toll in Nepal landslides, floods rises to 49

14 August 2017

A Home Ministry official said more than 5,000 people had been shifted from the affected areas.

Landslides and flooding triggered by heavy rain have killed at least 47 people in southern Nepal and left thousands homeless, police said Sunday.

Many highways have been obstructed and the government has mobilised security forces and government officials to start search and rescue operations as well as rehabilitation works promptly.

"The number of dead could increase as we are still compiling the final tally", said Laxmi Pun, an aide to Home Minister Janardan Sharma.

Local officials have opened temporary shelters for displaced people in schools or public buildings.

Likewise, the Ministry has urged the Ministry of Health to dispatch a team of health workers to the affected areas along with medicines.

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Efforts were also on to pack food items to be distributed to those affected by flooding and landslides, while helipads at Nepal Army's barracks have been kept ready for relief distribution. Dozens more are missing or injured.

Footage aired on Nepali broadcasters showed villagers wading through waist-high water with their belongings and using boats to reach higher ground.

The resort town is a popular tourist destination and home to the famed Chitwan National Park where visitors go on safaris and elephant rides. Hundreds of tourists remain trapped in the hotels.

In the eastern city of Biratnagar, the airport was closed after the runway was submerged under more than half a meter (2 feet) of water.

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

Almost 100 people died a year ago in Nepal during the rainy season, which typically begins in late June and lasts until the end of August.

Death toll in Nepal landslides, floods rises to 49