KATHMANDU- Water levels in major rivers, including Karnali, Rapti, Koshi and Narayani, along the Tarai districts were flowing above the danger mark on Friday evening.
Incessant rains since Wednesday have also triggered flash floods in the rivers crossing various districts such as Dang, Surkhet, Bardiya, and Banke in the West, and Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari and Dhankuta in the East, threatening the lives of thousands of people living along the riverside.
Flood Alerts posted on the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) website on Friday suggested the water levels in the Rapti and Narayani rivers have already crossed the danger mark. while the Karnali river at Chisapani is rising above the warning level. The water levels in Koshi remain steady, but flowing above the warning level. The DHM has identified different warning and danger levels for each river depending on the volume of water discharge. The levels for Karnali, for instance, are set at 9 and 10 metres respectively.
In Mid-Western districts, the torrential rains with many places recording rainfall above 100 millimetres in 24 hours since Thursday night resulted in large-scale flashfloods which severely affected districts like Dang, Dang, Surkhet, Bardiya and Banke. The hydrological and meteorological station installed at Chisapani area along the Karnali River at 8:45 am on Friday morning measured rainfall at 493.8 mm in 24 hours period, which is the record high for the area. Similarly, Surkhet station recorded the second highest at 423.1 mm in the country. All adjoining stations along the Karnali and Rapti River measured rainfall above 200 mm during the same period.
Similarly, the heavy rains since Wednesday night have also increased the water discharge alarmingly in other rivers flowing through the Eastern districts. The Kamala, Ratu and Lalbakaiya rivers have caused massive flooding in Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari and Dhankuta districts.
On Friday, a meeting of the Central Disaster Management Committee (CDMC) headed by the Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam discussed on immediate response and relief measures for the victims in the districts affected by floods.
According to Yadav Koirala, joint-secretary at the Home Ministry, all three security bodies have been directed to carry out immediate rescue and relief operations to help the affected people. The government is mulling over seeking Indian support if Nepali helicopters are insufficient to carry out the rescue operations, he said. “Our first priority is response and rescue of the affected families,” said Koirala.The meeting has also decided ask the Indian side to open the barrage gates located along the Nepal-India borders.
Meanwhile, the CDMC has directed the district disaster management committees and security personnel to alert locals on the rising water levels in the rivers and help them towards safer places.
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