Chitwan, Aug 13 (IANS) Around 600 tourists, including 200 Indians, have been stranded due to flooding in the Sauraha area of Nepal’s Chitwan district, authorities said on Sunday.
The swollen Rapti and Budhi Rapti rivers have inundated many hotels in the tourist destination and efforts were on to rescue the tourists trapped in flooded hotels with the help of tamed elephants, The Himayan Times reported citing Sauraha’s Regional Hotel Association Chairman Suman Ghimire.
The Chief District Officer and the Nepal Tourism Board have been informed about the present situation and asked to organise rescue operations.
The report quoted Hotel Seven Star Managing Director Madhav Duwadi as saying that the Home Ministry has also been requested for help.
The trapped tourists include 200 Nepalis and another 200 from various countries.
Efforts were on to shift the trapped tourists to safer places, said Chief District Officer Narayan Prasad Bhatta, adding that four rubber rafts have been sought from nearby Devghat for the rescue operation.
Floods and landslides triggered by incessant rains have claimed 40 lives so far in the country.
The water level in many rivers has crossed the danger mark and they have changed their course posing a threat to houses and livelihood.
Security agencies, including Nepal Police, the army and Armed Police Force, have been mobilised in the southern Terai districts for the relief and rescue operations .
Many highway bridges which serve as the lifeline of the nation have been damaged, obstructing vehicular movement for relief and rescue programmes.
In many places, helicopters have failed to operate due to bad weather.
The Meteorological Forecasting Division has forecast moderate to heavy rains to continue across the country for the next few days.