High powered winds, mixed with hail and rain tore through southern Nepal on Sunday night. Authorities report that 29 people are dead and another 600 have sustained injuries. The hardest hit area is the Bara and Parsa districts in the Terai region immediately south of Kathmandu.

The Bara and Parsa districts are mainly remote, resulting in greater damage from the poor building materials and craftsmanship of the homes. Casualties were buried by rubble from crumbling houses or struck down by trees and electric poles that were uprooted from the high winds.

Local officials have reported that hospitals in two districts have been overwhelmed by the amount of injured that have been flooding in. 200 people have already been admitted to one hospital that has reported to have only 5 doctors on duty. The high volume of injured has caused the Nepal government to ask for doctors and health workers from the neighboring districts to lend a hand in hospitals.

Many people on social media questioned if there was a better way to see this storm coming and potentially evacuate the area before the storm struck. Sujan Subedi, a senior divisional meteorologist at the Meteorological Forecasting Division of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, said, “Forecasting weather on a local scale, focused on particular locations in the country is a tough task given the available technology.”

Unfortunately, despite Nepal being used heavily by mountaineers and trekkers, both who rely heavily on weather forecasts, technology that focuses on specific weather in Nepal just isn’t widespread enough to use for rural regions like South Nepal. It is hopeful that after this incident the Meteorological Forecasting Division will focus its efforts on providing warning to areas that are likely to get hit hard by a storm.


Report by Benjamin J. Loecken