Nepalese government declares emergency in flood-hit areas

Other News Materials 4 September 2008 15:51 (UTC +04:00)

The Nepalese government on Thursday declared a state of emergency in more than 24 villages in southern Nepal that have been hard hit by flooding on the Koshi River, repoted dpa.

The decision to declare the areas in Sunsari district, about 400 kilometres south-east of Kathmandu, as "disaster-hit" came as thousands of people displaced by floods faced the risk of disease, a senior minister said.

The government move enables the supply of relief material and eases the rehabilitation of nearly 50,000 people displaced by the floods, Health and Population Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel said.

It also allows the government to close down offices, educational institutions and ban all activities that would affect relief and rehabilitation work.

The Home Affairs Ministry said 48,518 people had sought shelter in temporary relief camps set up for floods victims. About 10,000 of them were Indian nationals.

Many of the flood victims were being housed in schools and public buildings.

The government also decided to release 2.5 billion rupees (36.2 million dollars) in emergency funds for distribution of relief materials.

The Koshi River burst its banks in mid-August and changed its course, causing flooding in Sunsari.