Dust storm leaves trail of destruction

Dhangadi, June 8th 2019

A massive dust storm that hit Kailali and Kanchanpur districts last night destroyed several houses, forcing hundreds of families to live in the open.

Two persons were killed and 76 were injured when the dust storm hit Kailali around 7:30pm and lasted around an hour. Twenty-one persons were injured in parts of Kanchanpur.

According to Kailali District Police Office, local Lahanu Dagaura died after he was trapped under a wall that fell on him in Tikapur Municipality. Critically injured Dagaura breathed his last while undergoing treatment at Tikapur Hospital, said Inspector Prakash Dangi.

Another person was killed when a tipper hit the motorcycle coming from opposite direction as the vehicle lost its control during the windstorm in Godawari Municipality, Kailali. Bir Bahadur Chaudhary of Godawari Municipality-8 died on the spot.

Of the 76 people injured in the windstorm in Kailali, four were critical. Two of them have been sent to India and two to Nepalgunj for treatment, said Dangi. Sixty-six of the injured returned home after first aid at health facilities.

One of those injured in Kanchanpur is said to be critical and is being treated at Seti Zonal Hospital.

The dust storm blew away roofs of hundreds of houses and schools in both the districts and uprooted hundreds of electricity poles obstructing power supply. Security personnel are working to clear roads blocked by trees and electricity poles with the support of local people. The storm also destroyed crops at several places.

Kailali’s Dhangadi Sub-metropolitan City and Kailari Rural Municipality were the worst hit. Dhangadi’s freed Kamaiya and squatters’ settlement suffered the most.

After the storm blew away roofs of the houses, rain soaked the belongings of the affected residents. Lalita Subedi of Bangarakatani, Dhangadi, said she and her brother would have to buy new books as the rain-soaked books were of no use. The wind had blown away the roof of their house.

Manhera Muktakamaiya Camp, Dhujhunna Muktakamaiya Camp, Hasanpur Camp, and Dalit Basti of Shanti Katan in Dhangadi sub-metropolis also suffered huge damage. Sita Chaudhary of Manhera Camp said the rain damaged clothes and food items after the roof of her house was blown away.

Dhangadi Mayor Nrip Bahadur Odd said the municipality had started a collective mess to feed storm victims at the affected wards. “Work is under way to ascertain the exact damage in the presence of police personnel and people’s representatives,” he said.

Kailali Chief Development Officer Yagyaraj Bohora said a meeting of District Disaster Management Committee had decided to expedite rescue and relief work. “Work to collect details of the damage with the help of local level representatives is on,” said CDO Bohora.

Kailari Rural Municipality Chair Laguram Chaudhary in Kailali said more than 1,500 houses were completely destroyed in the rural municipality.

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