Torrential rains triggered a handful of mudslides above vulnerable villages in rural Nepal last night. More than 20 people were killed, according to the Associated Press; the Nepali Times is reporting a death toll of 56.
A cloudburst dumped “the equivalent of a week of rain in one night,” or 130 millimeters, in the northeastern district of Taplejung yesterday, according to the Nepali Times. Six villages on earthquake-weakened slopes were destroyed by subsequent mudslides and flooding overnight. These villages are, in good weather, a five-hour walk from the nearest town. Surviving villagers are digging others out of the rubble but only a few outsiders have been able to get there, via helicopter, to help.
The region is still recovering from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck on April 25, killing thousands across the country, and triggering powerful aftershocks. The earthquakes caused hundreds of landslides, avalanches, and building collapses.
Nepal’s monsoon season has barely started, and more devastating mudslides are expected in the coming months. At least 200 people died from mudslides and flooding in Nepal during the 2014 monsoon season.