By Gopal Sharma
KATHMANDU -The death toll after three days of heavy rain in Nepal triggered landslides and flash floods rose to 77 on Wednesday after rescuers recovered 34 more bodies, authorities said.
Twenty-four deaths have been reported in the Panchthar district of east Nepal bordering India, 13 in neighbouring Ilam and 12 in Doti in west Nepal, interior ministry official Dil Kumar Tamang said. Others died elsewhere in west Nepal.
The ministry said 22 people were injured and 26 were missing.
Authorities said the government would provide $1,700 as relief to the families of each dead victim and free treatment for the injured.
About 350 km (220 miles) west of the capital Kathmandu, persistent heavy rains were hampering efforts to reach Seti, a village in west Nepal where 60 people have been marooned by floods for two days.
“Rescuers were unable to reach the village due to bad weather and continuous rains yesterday. Rescue efforts are continuing today,” Police spokesman Basanta Kunwar told Reuters.
Television channels showed rice paddy crops submerged or washed away, and rivers sweeping away bridges, roads, houses and the runway of an airport in the city of Biratnagar.
Flash floods and landslides are common in Nepal during the monsoon season from mid-June through September.
Authorities have warned of more rain in the next few days.
There are “chances of heavy rainfall in some places and light to moderate snowfall” in the eastern mountainous areas, the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology said in a forecast for the next two days.
(Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Giles Elgood)