Nepal floods, landslides leave at least 49 dead, dozens missing, officials say

An aerial view showing the town half-submerged in floodwaters following landslides triggered by heavy rain in Khagrachari Bangladesh in this still frame taken from video

Incessant rainfall displaces thousands of families in Nepal's Terai region

Almost 600 tourists, including 200 Indians, have been stranded in central Nepal's popular tourist district Chitwan due to flooding triggered by heavy rains that have claimed 49 lives, officials said on Sunday.

Security agencies including Nepal Police, Nepal Army and Armed Police force have been active in Terai districts for the relief operation since Saturday.

"The number of dead could increase as we are still compiling the final tally", said Laxmi Pun, an aide to Home Minister Janardan Sharma.

Torrential downpours have destroyed homes and infrastructure in more than a dozen districts since Friday morning, and forced families to climb into trees to escape the rapidly rising waters.

However, the Indian embassy said the flood has affected both countries, adding that it is constant contact with authorities in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The Red Cross estimated 100,000 people were affected by the disaster, with one official describing how the storm had cut off communication and electricity, adding to the challenges in rescuing people and distributing aid.

The District Natural Disaster Rescue Committee has distributed dry foods to victims in the flood-hit areas. Aerial rescue and relief have also been hampered by bad weather.

28 persons have also been injured and 53 are missing. Hundreds of tourists remain trapped in the hotels.

The resort town is a popular tourist destination and home to the famed Chitwan National Park where visitors go on safaris and elephant rides. "In Surkhet district, we have evacuated about 200 people to shelters", the statement said. The rain is expected to continue in the coming days according to the Nepal Meteorological Forecasting Division, raising fears that the rivers will threaten to wash more villages away.

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