April 1 (UPI) -- At least 27 people were dead and 612 were injured after a massive storm tore through southern Nepal, the Nepalese prime minister said Monday.
Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli announced the rising death toll via Twitter, stating that of the injured, 343 had already been discharged.
"I express my grave concern for this accidental loss," he said. "The security forces have been operating at the expedition."
He said security forces had already been dispatched to the area while helicopters with night vision capabilities were prepared to be deployed from the Kathmandu airbase Monday morning.
Sunday evening, hail and rain, accompanied by strong winds, battered Bara and Parsa districts of Province 2, leaving houses in rubble and infrastructure destroyed in the storm's wake, The Himalayan reported.
Many people were killed after being buried under collapsed houses or crushed by electricity poles and trees that were uprooted during the storm.
Two battalions of the Nepalese army, the armed police force and other security agencies have been deployed, Bara's Chief District Officer Rajesh Poudel said.
Meanwhile, the Province 2 Council of Ministers held a meeting Monday morning and urged the central government to declare a state of emergency while asking medical institutions to offer free treatment to the injured.