Bihar evacuation
Bihar is evacuating people in eight districts due to a flood threat, following the landslide in Nepal.Reuters file

Bihar government has so far evacuated 20,000 people out of 1.5 lakh, ahead of a flood alert in eight districts, following a massive landslide at a river tributary in Nepal on Saturday.

The landslide in the northern area of Nepal has blocked the Kosi River at one of the three tributaries. To clear the block, the Nepal Army would trigger a few blasts, allowing free flow of the water accumulated at the tributary.

"The Central Water Commission estimates tell that 14 lakh cusec water has accumulated at the landslide site, while the Indian Embassy in Nepal has informed our National Disaster Management Authority about the accumulation of 25 lakh cusec water. In both cases, it is a huge amount of water," NDTV quoted Bihar Disaster Management Department Principal Secretary Vyasji.

Two controlled blasts have already been set off, causing the river water to sweep through the debris slowly, and more such blasts are set to take place. Following which, a 10 metre-high wall of water is expected to hit eight districts in Bihar, surrounding the Kosi river.

"The blasting of blockage in river could result in a 10-metre high wall of water sweeping down Kosi into Bihar which could bring trouble," Reuters quoted Vyasji.

And to avoid loss of lives in Supaul, Saharsa, Madhepura, Khagaria, Bhagalpur, Araria, Purnia and Madhubani districts which are under the threat of being submerged in the flood, the Indian government has already started precautionary measures.

The government has requested people in the area to evacuate their homes and move to safer places. Moreover, the Indian Air Force, Army and teams of national as well as state Disaster Response Force have also been deployed for the evacuation of the 1.5 lakh people and for relief operations, when needed. It has also sent a team of experts to the site.

"We have sent our own team of engineers and officials to the site where Bhote Kosi, a major tributary of Kosi River, has been blocked due to an enormous landslide last night, damming the river and resulting in a massive accumulation of water. The team will immediately inform us when the Nepal Army blasts the debris to free the river," Vyasji said.

The massive landslide hit Nepal in the area near Sunkoshi River, burying at least 60 houses. At least nine bodies have been recovered from the debris and mud, while more than 100 are feared dead.

"The landslide has caused huge damage. We cannot make any estimates of the number of deaths now. We are looking for other people who might be trapped," police officer Bharat Bahadur Bohara said.