KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rainfall have killed at least 45 people in Nepal in the past few days, with more deaths reported across the Himalayan border in India, officials said Sunday.
At least 31 others are missing in Nepal, either swept by swollen rivers or buried by mudslides since delayed monsoon rains began pounding the region Friday, Nepal’s National Emergency Operation Center said.
The center said nine key highways remained blocked by floods and mudslides and attempts are underway to open them up for traffic. Among them is the East-West Highway that connects the country’s southern districts.
Other roads were being cleared by thousands of police and soldiers. Continuing bad weather has grounded helicopter rescue flights.
Workers were also repairing fallen communication towers to restore phone lines.
Twenty-eight people have been treated for injuries and more than 1,100 others rescued from flooded areas. More than 10,000 people are estimated to have been displaced.
Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology warned of more troubles ahead in a flood warning for the southern region near the main rivers, urging people to keep watch on rising water levels and move to higher grounds when needed.
Rain-triggered floods and mudslides have left a trail of destruction in other parts of South Asia. Officials in northeastern India have reported at least a dozen people dead and over a million affected.
The dead included two schoolchildren who were buried when their boarding school collapsed while they were asleep in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh state.
Assam’s State Disaster Response Authority said around 900,000 people spread over 21 of the state’s 33 districts have had their homes submerged. Several thousands are living in government-run relief camps.
Elsewhere in Assam, Kaziranga National Park, home to the endangered one-horn rhinoceros, has been flooded. The park is located 225 kilometers (140 miles) east of Gauhati, the state capital.
Floods and mudslides have also hit some other northeastern states, including Meghalaya, Sikkim and Mizoram. In Mizoram, floods have submerged about 400 homes in the small town of Tlabung, police said.
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