KATHMANDU/DHAKA • Heavy rain in Nepal triggered landslides yesterday that killed eight labourers at a construction site and two members of a family, taking the toll in floods and landslides to 177 since late May.
Elsewhere in South Asia, the annual rainy season brought more misery, with at least 135 people killed in Bangladesh since late June in the longest-running floods there in more than two decades.
Floods have also killed nearly 120 people and displaced millions in the Indian states of Assam and Bihar.
Nepali government official Murari Wasti told Reuters that the labourers were sleeping in a tin-roofed shelter near the capital Kathmandu when the landslide hit. “Rescuers dug through the mud and took out all eight bodies,” Mr Wasti said.
One injured labourer has been taken to hospital.
A second landslide nearby killed a woman and her husband.
Mr Wasti said 57 people were missing and 111 injured in floods or landslides caused by the May-September monsoon rains.
Bhutan has also been hit, with four soldiers killed there last month while rescuing villagers trapped in floods, officials said.
The flood conditions have complicated the poor region’s efforts to fight the coronavirus outbreak, especially in densely populated Bangladesh, which has reported 240,746 infections with 3,154 deaths.
More than one million people are marooned in Bangladesh and thousands of hectares of land have been submerged, forcing over 60,000 to crowd into shelters, said Mr Enamur Rahman, a junior minister in the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry.
“This is really challenging,” he said, adding that efforts were being made to maintain social distancing.
The run-off from heavy rain across the Indian mountains had pushed the levels of many of Bangladesh’s rivers into the danger zone, said an expert, contributing to the worst flooding since 1998.