A massive landslide in Jure, Ramche-5 of Sindupalchowk, 120km east of Kathmandu, has claimed the lives of eight people and injured 16.
The number of missing and the exact death toll is unknown as many homes have been reported to been buried by the landslide or submerged by the rising water levels.
The landslide which occurred around 3 am has washed dozens of homes and blocked the Sunkoshi River to form a 3 km long lake that threatens settlements downstream.
The immediate threat is Barabise Bazaar, which is some 3 km away.
Talking to Nepalnews, Yadav Koirala, joint secretary and chief of Risk Management Division at the Home Ministry says, “The initial approach to blast the site has been dropped due to various reasons & human resources are now being mobilized to tackle the situation.”
“The landslide-dammed lake outburst flood when overtopped would create massive havoc downstream as a wall of churning rocks, trees and mud and water could sweep away everything at least 15 to 20 km below,” says Dipak Gyawali, former minister of water resources.
The Home Ministry, meanwhile has declared downstream areas as ‘crisis-hit’ and directed concerned authorities to open all 52 gates of Saptakoshi Dam as emergency measures to prepare for a disaster in case the walls of the landslide dammed lake bursts.
The ministry has also informed authorities in China and India and requested their technical assistance to deal with the developing situation.