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156 dead in Nepal landslide; search called off

156 dead in Nepal landslide; search called off KATHMANDU: Nepal government on Wednesday declared dead the 123 people missing in the country’s worst landslide in over a decade, taking the death toll from the disaster to 156, as the search for the bodies buried under the debris was called off.

The landslide, triggered by heavy rains, hit Sindhupalchowk district on Saturday after the Sunkoshi river, which flows across the border into Bihar as the Kosi river, was blocked creating an artificial lake near Nepal-Tibet border.

Chief district officer Gopal Parajuli confirmed that all 123 missing in the landslide were dead on the basis of data submitted by local people.

“The missing persons were declared dead after the nature of the site showed no possibilities of finding the bodies,” said Parajul.

He said rescue work has been called off for the time being as the deployment of heavy machinery and earth pullers may trigger more landslides.

Earlier, 33 were pulled out from the rubble laid bare by Nepal’s worst landslide in over a decade.

Police and army personnel carried out search and rescue operations for the past five days to locate the missing persons. They drained out water from the artificial lake using controlled explosions.

– PTI