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Officials say there's 'no hope' of finding survivors after deadly Nepal landslide

Authorities have evacuated more than 20,000 people amid fears that a torrent of water could inundate villages and farms if a dam suddenly breaks.

Nepal Flooding A Nepalese Army helicopter flies over the site of a landslide during a rescue operation in Sindhupalchowk. Source: Dinesh Gole

RESCUERS HAVE RULED out finding any more survivors of a landslide in northeast Nepal that is feared to have buried dozens of people under tonnes of mud and rocks.

Eight bodies have been pulled from the rubble after the landslide struck hamlets along a river in Sindhupalchok district before dawn on Saturday burying homes and leaving at least 100 people missing.

“It has been over 24 hours that people would have been buried in mud. We have no hope of finding anyone alive,” government disaster management head Yadav Prasad Koirala told AFP in Kathmandu.

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As police and soldiers resumed their search for the missing, efforts were also underway to clear landslide debris blocking the Sunkoshi river, sparking fears of flash floods downstream, including across the border in India.

The debris has dammed the Sunkoshi which also runs into India’s eastern state of Bihar as the Kosi river.

Authorities in Bihar have evacuated more than 20,000 people amid fears that a torrent of water could inundate villages and farms if the dam suddenly breaks, officials said.

Nepal Flooding Source: AP Photo/Dinesh Gole

“So far 20,000 people have been evacuated and they have reached at different relief camps set up by the government,” Vyas Ji, principal secretary of Bihar’s disaster management department, told AFP.

“We have information that their number is increasing and it may have crossed 25,000 now,” he added.

Disaster response teams have been deployed to vulnerable areas of Bihar, while the army was on stand by, the state government said.

The Kosi river burst its banks in 2008 and shifted away from its normal course, engulfing swathes of Bihar and killing hundreds of people.

Nepalese workers on Saturday carried out small explosions to clear the debris and break open the dam which has created a large 110-metre (360-feet) deep lake in the river.

At least two hydropower stations have been flooded at the site, forcing them to shut down. A three-kilometre stretch of the Arniko Highway, which connects Nepal with Tibet in China, has also been submerged and been closed.

- © AFP, 2014

India: Desperate search for survivors after landslide kills 23 >

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