On 31 March 2019, a powerful “rainstorm” swept across two districts of southern Nepal killing at least 28 and injuring more than 1,100 people. It was later identified as the first confirmed case of a tornado in Nepal. Lacking advanced technologies to predict or record a tornado, the scientists instead based their findings on forensic evidence, including witness accounts. The government has insisted that technological upgrades are being instituted to improve the country’s virtually non-existent weather-warning system.
The tornado originated in Chitwan National Park and followed a path 200–250 metres (220–270 yd) wide and 30 kilometres (19 mi) long through several villages in Bara and Parsa districts, accompanied by rain, hail and thunderstorm. The hydrology and meteorology department classified the wind as a gale at 30 knots. A humanitarian crisis ensued in the impoverished rural farming communities affected by the disaster. Emergency aid and response began soon after, with the Nepalese Army and Nepal Red Cross Society distributing supplies, while hospitals in the affected areas were overwhelmed with the number of injuries. Relief worth millions of rupees were announced for the victims in the aftermath of the tragedy. The government of Nepal also paid for the health expenses of all injured.