One body found, over 1000 victims out of contact in flood-hit areas

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Kathmandu, Aug 22 (UNI) The body of a woman was recovered and more than 1,000 people remained cut off in the flood affected areas of Sunsari district in eastern Nepal where over 60,000 people were said to be displaced.

The body has been identified as that of 46-year-old Janukidevi Yadav of Kushaha ward-9, Kantipur quoted officials involved in the rescue as saying. They also said two trained Nepal Army personnel, who had set out for rescue work, were yet to be contacted.

While the population in the relief camps is increasing every day, the locals said over 1,000 people in the worst-hit VDCs of Sripur and Haripur still remained cut off.

A large number of villages were inundated after the Saptakoshi embankment collapsed last week.

The rescue teams evacuated over 5,000 people from various waterlogged settlements of Sunsari district even as the catastrophe following the Saptakoshi embankment collapse continued taking its toll.

Rumours that many bodies, presumably from the flood-hit settlements in Nepal, were recovered in Bihar are yet to be confirmed by local authorities.

Kantipur quoted Local Development Officer Guru Subedi as saying that they are yet to get information about any such deaths.

Superintendent of Police Keshariraj Ghimire said that scores of locals in Sripur and Haripur, who remained on tree tops and rooftops, declined to come to the camps when a rescue helicopter went to evacuate them yesterday. He also said that they saw hundreds of dead cattle in the water.

CDO Durga Bhandari said over 60,000 people have been displaced so far. According to him, it may take over two weeks for vehicular movement to resume on the damaged East-West Highway.

People affected by the flood are taking shelter in schools, government buildings and public places. The condition of children, women and elderly is said to be critical.

Many organisations have been reaching the displaced population and their camps with various relief materials including foodstuff, clothing and blankets.

''We have no problem of food,'' local media quoted Anjalidevi Mandal, who has spent four days in tents on the roadside. ''Now we feel better as the rain has gradually stopped.'' Bijay Kumar Gachchhedar, leader of the Madhesi People's Rights Forum who was among a dozen CA members inspecting the flood-hit areas on yesterday, said that the government should use its resources to help the victims.

''The Bihar government in India has already taken action against dozens of officials working on the Koshi embankment project,'' he said, demanding that ''the government of Nepal too should find out whose mistake led to such a disaster and take action against them.'' Nepal government has said that Rs 20 million was allocated for relief in the affected areas whereas the US has provided 50000 dollar for relief.

Various organisations of the Nepalese across the globe are collecting donation for the flood hit people.

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