India assures full support to flood-affected Nepal

Nepal has begun rescue and relief operations after landslides and floods triggered by monsoon rain across the country claimed at least 49 lives, the government said.

In a press release issued this evening, the Ministry of Home Affairs has urged the industrialists, philanthropists, and humanitarian and social organizations to provide relief including foodstuff required by the families in distress due to the natural disasters.

"Search and rescue works are under way but the water levels have not declined yet", said Mr Shankar Hari Acharya, the chief of Nepal's national emergency centre.

The meeting also chose to urge the Indian side to open more doors of Laxmanpur barrage and Koshi barrage so as to minimise damage on the Nepali side.

(From top to bottom) A section of the East-West Highway inundated by floodwaters, in Siraha; road washed away by flood in Tulsipur, Dang; and security personnel clearing debris of the landslide that killed four people in Sindhuli, on Saturday.

The heavy rain, which mainly hit the country's southern plains, led to the evacuation of 5,000 people, a Home Ministry official said.

"The toll may increase as we are still compiling the final tally", said an aide to Home Minister Janardan Sharma, Laxmi Pun, according to Reuters.

Nepal's National News Agency reported Sunday that 600 tourists, including 400 foreigners, are trapped in the town of Sauraha in southwestern Nepal. "In Surkhet district, we have evacuated about 200 people to shelters", the statement said. Biratnagar airport has been closed after flood water gushed into the airport area.

Nepalese men carry children on their shoulders as they wade through flood waters in village Ramgadhwa in Birgunj, Nepal, Sunday.

The monsoon season causes floods in Nepal nearly every year.

Vanessa Coleman