A massive rainstorm swept through parts of southern Nepal on Sunday (March 31) evening, killing at least 25 people and injuring 400 others, officials said. The rainstorm has hit the southern district of Bara and adjoining Parsa.
Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli in a tweet said 25 people had been killed, and around 400 were injured. "Helicopters have been kept ready for immediate rescue and relief," Oli said in his post. He offered condolences to the families of the victims. Prime Minister's Chief Advisor Bishnu Rimal said army personnel have been mobilised in the affected areas.
Government administrator Rajesh Paudel who is a top bureaucrat of Bara district, where the storm hit, said the death toll may increase as rescuers were still trying to reach many of those affected. According to the National Emergency Operation Centre, the injured are undergoing treatment at various health services.
Bara is located about 62 km (39 miles) south of Kathmandu and borders India's eastern state of Bihar. Pre-monsoon thunderstorms are common in Nepal during the spring season but are rarely of an intensity that causes high casualties.
Police officer Sanu Ram Bhattarai said rescue teams had been dispatched to the affected villages, but reaching the victims was difficult at night. Many television channels said the storm and accompanying heavy rainfall, uprooted trees and electric and telephone poles, crushing some people to death. Most people in the district are farmers.
(Inputs from agencies)