Rotary International District 1100
Home | Nepal Trust | Kharpani Flooding on Sat 5th May 2012, about 9am.
A message from Chandra of the Pahir Trust. Luckily he was not at hotsprings as he had a meeting - he is there most Saturday mornings.
Flooding Disaster following a massive blockage of the river caused by land slides after avalanches.
The small village of Kharpani lies (lay) in a central position in relation to the PTN Schools & CAIRN library support also WPA conservation support programme.
The village was well known as the site of 'Tatopani' (hot water)- the medicinal hot springs it stood above. The village itself was on the east bank of the Seti river. Since last three years ago the opening of the hard top road for 16.km up the east side of Seti river from Pokhara it has become a popular spot for locals picnic as well easy axes for tourist to visit hot water spot.
Originally there had been few solidly built rock houses well above the river line, then after the road opened a bus park was developed and many small tea houses/restaurants grew up around it. The people living there who had set up the their businesses have been starting to prosper.They created cement 'hot tubs' for the bathers and built simple rooms/shelters for them.
On Sat 5 May morning just after 9 am, a huge flood swept down the narrow valley, apparently at about 4750 meter high up at the north end of the Seti river beyond a village called Keruwa there had been a massive blockage of the river caused by land slides after avalanches. At last this is the supposing and then gradually the river behind the blockage must have built up and finally it burst.
As you know much of the Seti valley is a deep gorge so not much settlements low down immediately adjacent to the river.
However Kharpani is an exception a busy for short distance drive road head for bus, car & motorbike.
With a new suspended bridge built by BBLL (replacing the old Dhiprang bridge) across to the west side where the Annapurna middle school lies immediately above and a little to the south.
Just north of Kharpani village the river bends east and then back west. It seems as if much of the mud water and debris did not take the bend back west, but tore on through the 8-10 meters high bank and straight into the bus park/village.
Apparently the old solidly stone built two story house and the new lodges and restaurants the people & domestic animals were trapped and were nearly all swept away as well a couple of buses (including school bus from Syanja), three tractors and truck/cars.
Now the place is only full of mud and debris so the new BBLL bridge the foundations of which was lay more than 10-15 mtrs above the river is also badly damaged.
This may prevent school children who had graduated from the Bhara Bhuri and Keruwa primary schools from getting across for their secondary education at the Annapurna school.
Fortunately at the time of the flood quite a lot of the villagers had gone to a settlement a little higher up for a religious ceremony (Arghou). However as at this morning including one school bus from Syanja so confirmed more than 45 people dead (including 2 Russian Tourists), till yesterday 27 dead body been recovered and are still missing.
Now Nepal Army using three dozers to discover missing body from debris and repairing the road for villagers were not exist through existing anymore.
Apart from the tragic human and animal deaths and injuries the people of the area have lost everything.
Obviously the Nepal Government is directly a responsibility for all necessary support but in this very moment unlikely to be in a position to do a great deal-too many other priorities.
However the PTN/CAIRN name is well known in the rural area, so on the basis that every little helps we to have to help.
The people will have no insurance cover and the reality is I am sure you will agree that if there are things we can do,
I will keep you in touch with developments and if I can raise some funds from my lions club to assist will start to assess where best such money might be spent.
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We Thought you might like to read the above message from Chandra. Luckily he was not at hotsprings as he had a meeting - he is there most Saturday mornings but, like the villagers, was lucky to have a meeting elsewhere. Chandra is pahar trust project director and is involved with lions, his colleague Narendra is a Rotarian. His figures pertain only to this village.
Dr Tim Mitchell of Bristol Northwest Rotary Club writes:
High in the Annapurna mountains on 5th May 2012 a dam broke. It was probably caused by a combination of landslide and avalanche which had blocked the Seti River for long enough to allow a vast volume of water to build up. When it burst, the water roared down the Seti river as a wall of water destroying anything in its path. Villages alongside the river were affected, as was the city of Pokhara many miles to the south. What made it very real for some rotarians in District 1100 was the complete destruction of the village of Kharpani.
Children from that village attend Bharabhuri school which recently had an extension built by the Pahar Trust Nepal. This was funded by Bristol Rotary and Bristol Breakfast and members of both clubs have recently been in the area to celebrate the opening of the extension and spend time with the children, teachers and villagers. Other clubs with a link to the same site include Clifton, whose members laid the foundation stone, Bristol Northwest and the new eClub.
The photos show some of the devastation but luckily the school was on the plateau above the river valley and was untouched. Many families have lost loved ones, houses, businesses, farms and their valuable livestock so face a huge problem reconstructing their lives.
The government and Red Cross were on site almost immediately searching for survivors – those known to have died and those missing total around 100 at present – and beginning the process of clearing up. This will progress and I am sure rebuilding will soon start as I know the determination of the Nepali people.
There will be a need for small scale help to families to allow them to start again and this is where Rotary is already helping. Generous donations from the clubs linked to the area and individual Rotarians already total more than £1000 and this will be used as a hardship fund to be managed by the Pahar trust and the local club of Pokhara Fishtail.
The Pahar Trust is very well supported by the majority of the clubs in this district as was shown by the wonderful effort in raising funds to construct a school in the east of Nepal well away from this area. This rapid response from local confirms affirms my belief that the trust is a superb charity for Rotary to support and strengthens my disbelief that RIBI has not yet seen fit to include it on the list of approved projects. I know that there is a lot of support locally and remain very grateful for all the interest and help from District 1100.
Dr Tim Mitchell
President Elect, Rotary Club of Bristol Northwest
Trustee Pahar Trust Nepal www.pahar-trust.org
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