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article imageThousands evacuated in Nepal after river blocked by landslide

By Karen Graham     May 24, 2015 in Environment
A mountain river in Nepal was blocked by a huge landslide on Sunday, forcing the evacuation to higher ground of thousands of families along the river say government officials.
The Kaligandaki River in northern Nepal was almost completely blocked by a landslide on Sunday morning says Government administrator Yam Bahadur Chokhal.
The landslide has created a lake on the river 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) long, forcing people living along the banks to flee to higher ground. It is feared the waters behind the blockage will burst through, causing a flash flood that threatens villages downriver for 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of Katmandu.
Fox News is reporting that Police official Arun Chetri said rescuers have pulled six bodies from the river, but the death toll is expected to rise. He said the immediate threat to flooding is in the Sindhupalchowk area, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of the capital, Katmandu.
The Arniko highway that connects Nepal to Tibet has been closed to travel, and villagers have been ordered to move to higher ground.
Soldiers and police have been sent to the region to help in the rescue and evacuation of people, as well as to monitor the condition of the river. This additional disaster comes on the heels of two powerful earthquakes, on April 25 and May 12, that killed nearly 8,700 people and injured 16,800 others.
The earthquakes have triggered a number of landslides in the Himalayan nation, leaving residents fearful and uneasy. A landslide blocked the nearby Seti River in 2002, killing 2,000 people after the river burst through the snow blockage and sent a torrent of water gushing through villages.
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