KATHMANDU, April 1: A freak storm tore down houses and overturned cars and trucks as it swept across southern Nepal killing at least 27 people and leaving more than 600 injured, officials said Monday.
The rare spring storm battered the rural district of Bara and adjoining areas late Sunday. Five children were among the dead, the home ministry said, and a major operation was underway Monday to get relief supplies to the region and evacuate injured.
The winds were so fierce that they overturned a bus carrying passengers, witnesses said. Houses, trees and electricity pylons were all toppled in the storm.
Injured victims flocked to local hospitals who were unable to cope and at least seven people were airlifted to Kathmandu for treatment.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. The winds took away everything, my home and my family,” Ram Babu Patel, 45, whose wife was killed in the storm, told AFP by telephone.
“I was at home getting ready for dinner when the storm hit — it was unbelievable. We have nothing left.”
Many of the victims were crushed to death under the debris of their houses or by fallen trees and poles. The strong winds overturned parked cars on the roads.
Prakash Tharu, a volunteer in Bara district hit hard by the storm, described the scene of devastation in the villages.
“The storm destroyed everything in its path. Houses have no roofs and trees are all down,” Tharu said. (AFP)