Many killed in monsoon flash floods, landslides in Bhutan, Nepal

The two Himalayan nations have been lashed by heavy rains in the last three days as the annual monsoon season begins.

Flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains have washed away a remote mountain camp in Bhutan, killing 10 people and injuring five, while floods in neighbouring Nepal left at least three dead and seven missing, authorities said.

The Bhutan villagers, who had been collecting cordyceps, a fungus used in medicine, were sleeping when the floodwaters hit just after midnight.

heir camp near Laya, about 60km (37 miles) north of the capital, Thimphu, was washed away, local media reported.

“Our hearts are with the people of Laya today, as we hear about the tragedy that struck a group of cordycep collectors in the highland,” Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said in a statement.

Two helicopters were mobilised to evacuate the injured and rescuers, and the armed forces were heading to the site which can only be reached after 11 hours of walking from the nearest road.

Villagers in Bhutan and neighbouring Nepal go to high meadows every year to collect cordyceps which are believed to have potential health benefits.

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