By Shirish B Pradhan KATHMANDU,
Many people were either killed after getting buried under rubbles of houses and metal roofs that flung all over the settlements, or after coming under the electric pylons and trees that were uprooted as the disaster advanced, said police
A FREAK storm battered several places in Southern Nepal on Sunday, killing 31 people and injuring600othersashighspeed winds tore down houses, flipped vehicles and toppled trees and electricity poles. Massive winds accompanied byhailstormsandrainstruckBara andtheadjoiningdistrictofParsa late on Sunday evening. According to officials, 31 people were killed in Bara, 128 kilometers south ofKathmandu, while one person died in neighbouring Parsa. High winds flipped cars and blewonepassengerbusoffahighway, causing fatalities.
According to police, many people were either killed after getting buried under rubbles of houses and metal roofs that flung all over the settlements, or after comingunderthe electric pylons and trees that were uprooted as the disaster advanced. According to Province 2 Attorney General Dipendra Jha,majorityof the600injuredarefromPhetaand BhulahiBharwaliyaareas inBara’s Pheta Rural Municipality, which have mostly been affected by the hailstorm. Every year hundreds die in landslides and floods during Nepal’s monsoon season, but storms causing such high casualties in spring are rare.
According to District Police Office,Parsa,thenumberofcasualties could see a rise as rescue efforts have gained pace. The estimates of infrastructuraldamagesincurredinthedisaster are yet to be ascertained as thestormhasdamagedhundreds of houses, electric pylons, while uprooted trees have obstructed the roads and highways. The storm also damaged over 12 passenger buses that were parked along the roadside during the incident, police added.
The natural disaster also led toa poweroutagelastnight while the internet services have resumed in the affected districts. Security agencies including two battalions of Nepal Army, Nepal Police andArmedPoliceForce of Nepal have been mobilised to carry out rescue and relief operation in the affected areas,according to Bara’s Chief District Officer (CDO) Rajesh Poudel.