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Distress call from Darchula

Monday, June 17th, 2013
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A flood in the Mahakali River has swept up to 60 houses in Darchula’s headquarters and is threatening to cause more damage downstream in Baitadi, Dadeldhura, and Mahendranagar.

An early arrival of monsoon in Southasia brought rainfall into western Nepal through India’s southwestern coast of Maharastra and Gujarat. As a result, both high mountain border towns on adjacent sides of the Mahakali have seen damage and loss of life.

Flood in the Mahakali River swept away several houses and buildings at Khalanga, the district headquarters of Darchula. Photos: Nepal Army.

Flood in the Mahakali River swept away several houses and buildings at Khalanga, the district headquarters of Darchula. Photos: Nepal Army.

In Darchula, government offices including a supply centre, public health office, forest office, head office of the Api Nampa Conservation Area, and the power house of the Kalagadh Micro Hydroelectricity Project have been swept away by the swollen river. Telecom and police offices are now in danger of being swept away, as is the suspension bridge linking Darchula to the Indian side, Dharchula.

The Mahakali is a trans-boundary river flowing from Nepal into India like Kosi, Gandaki, and Karnali.

The Mahakali is a trans-boundary river flowing from Nepal into India.

Downstream in Mahendranagar, locals and police spent Sunday night trying to rescue workers trapped by the river, and the villages of Chandni and Dodhara across Mahakali also face dangers from the flood. In Dadeldhura and Baitadi rainfall has stopped transportation.

On the Indian side, the state authority of Uttarakhand stated that 26 people lost their lives so far to floods and landslides in the region. Transportation along the pilgrimage sites in the Indian Himalaya west of Nepal has also been affected.

Security forces have been carrying out relief and rescue work around Khalanga.

Security forces have been carrying out relief and rescue work around Khalanga.

The Mahakali is a trans-boundary river flowing from Nepal into India like Kosi, Gandaki, and Karnali. Its water-usage is governed by the bilateral Mahakali Treaty, which also makes it part of an ambitious cross-border hydropower, irrigation, and flood control project.

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