At least 21 people were killed and 27 others still missing in landslides triggered by heavy rainfall, which buried six villages in northeastern Nepal on Thursday, police said.
Deputy Superintendent of Nepal Police based in Taplejung District, Shanti Raj Koirala, said 21 bodies had been recovered and another 27 were still missing. "Other missing people might have been buried under the rubble," he told Xinhua over the phone.
Landslides have badly affected parts of the mountainous district and locals rescued at least 8 people from the landslide- hit areas on Thursday.
"Several dozen houses in the six villages were either buried or swept away. The incessant rainfall has disturbed the rescue efforts," Koirala added. Rivers and highway have been blocked by the landslide.
A team of policemen and rescuers reached villages but bad weather has thwarted search and rescue operations.
Nepal's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has directed the local authorities to carry out the relief efforts.
"I express heartfelt condolences to the family of deceased in Taplejung landslide and wish speedy recovery of injured. I have asked for prompt recovery and relief," the prime minister said on Twitter.
The opposition Rashtriya Prajatantra Party has asked the government to expedite the relief and rescue operations.
Tens of thousands of Nepalese are fearing of landslides since a 7.9-magnitude earthquake jolted the Himalayan country on April 25, which claimed over 9,000 lives and left 22,000 injured. Landslides are common in mountainous region of Nepal especially during the rainy monsoon season from June to September.