The two Himalayan nations have been hit by heavy rains over the past three days as the annual monsoon season begins.
Accidental floods caused by heavy monsoon rains have cleared a mountain camp in remote Bhutan, killing 10 people and injuring five. Authorities say at least three people have been killed and seven others in floods in nearby Nepal.
The fungus used in medicine was the cordyceps that were gathering the people of Bhutan who were asleep when the flood hit the water past midnight.
A camp about 60 kilometers from the capital, Thimphu, was cleared around Laya, local media reported.
“Our hearts are with the people of Laya today when we hear of the tragedy that struck a group of cordycep collectors in the high mountains,” Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said in a statement.
Two helicopters were mobilized to evacuate the wounded and rescuers, and the armed forces were heading to the site, which can only be reached after walking 11 hours from the nearest road.
Bhutanese and surrounding Nepalese people go to high pastures every year to gather cordyceps that they believe have potential health benefits.
Citizens were camping near a small stream between two small hills, the Bhutanese newspaper said.
“The flood is believed to have washed away those who came down the creek,” he said.
Three dead, seven missing in Nepal
In Nepal, Basanta Bahadur Kunwar police spokesman said rescue teams had recovered three bodies – two in western Nepal and one in the center of the country.
“Security forces have been working with locals to rescue the affected homes and relocate them to safer places,” Kunwar told the DPA news agency.
Interior Ministry official Dil Kumar Tamang said Sindhupalchow, which borders China’s Tibet region, was missing seven people in the district after night rains, flooding dozens of homes that caused severe flooding in the Melamchi River.
“We are gathering details of the loss,” Tamang told Reuters.
Witnesses said several people from Melamchi went to the highlands with their belongings while army helicopters were rescuing those trapped in marooned houses.
Authorities urged people living near the Narayani River, which flows into India like Ganda, to be vigilant as the river went over the risk mark.
More than three days of rainfall raised the Melamchi River, destroying several houses in two municipalities northeast of Kathmandu and damaging bridges and road infrastructure.
“We were unable to get to the actual extent of the damage,” Khanal told the DPA.
Nepal and Bhutan have been hit by heavy rains over the past three days as the annual monsoon season begins. Catastrophic disasters are common in both nations due to their mountainous topography and large rivers.