27 killed in south Nepal storm

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 on Monday as a major rescue operation gathered pace.

The rare spring storm battered the rural district of Bara and adjoining areas late on Sunday with high winds.

Five children were among the dead, the Home Ministry said, as rescuers battled to get relief supplies to the region and evacuate the injured.

The winds were so fierce that they overturned a bus carrying passengers, witnesses said.

Injured victims flocked to local hospitals, who were unable to cope and at least seven people were airlifted to Kathmandu for treatment.

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.

Rescuers struggled to reach many settlements blocked by fallen trees and electricity poles.

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli expressed his condolences and said that the government would do what it could for treatment of the injured.

The provincial government has announced free treatment and a financial assistance of 300,000 rupees ($2,710) for families of the dead.


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