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Flooding and Landslides Kill at Least 15 in Nepal

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Landslides and floods set off by torrential rains have killed at least 15 people in Nepal in the last 24 hours, officials in the small Himalayan nation said on Sunday, expressing fear that with further heavy rains expected, that number could rise.

Eighteen people were also injured in the flooding over the past 24 hours, and two are missing, said Dan Bahadur Karki, a police spokesman. Dozens of people were evacuated to safety, including some pulled from the rubble of their damaged homes.

Officials said the landslides had hampered vehicle traffic in most parts of a country where the terrain already makes travel difficult. Highways were damaged, as were the serpentine roads that connect cities with mountain villages. Military and police forces were deployed to help clear the roads.

Koshi, Gandaki and Bagmati Provinces, in the east and center of the country, were among the hardest hit. Weather experts predict that heavy rainfall could affect the remaining provinces as the rain heads west.

Nepal, which is among the places most vulnerable to climate change, routinely faces landslides and floods. Last year’s monsoon affected nearly 6,000 households, damaging homes and flooding fields. Since the beginning of the current monsoon season in June, at least 62 people have lost their lives, according to the country’s home ministry. Most of the deaths were because of flooding, but lightning was also a factor.

Political instability and widespread corruption have complicated a disaster response already short on resources.

The coalition government in Kathmandu is in disarray again, with a new alliance seeking to topple the current prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal. If he is ousted, the country will get its second government since the parliamentary elections held in November 2022.

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