Rain, floods affects normal life

Published on May 27 2009 // Main News

Thimphu, May 27, 2009: The incessant rain for the last few days have badly affected the normal life across the kingdom with storms and flood causing enormous damage to properties and life. 

At least four people have been reported killed while bridges in several places were washed away blocking highways. 

Two students from Thimphu, a soldier in Dewathang, and a road construction employee from India in Takti have been reported dead due to the flood.

The meteorology department said country experienced 76mm of rainfall between May 25, 9:00 a.m. and May 26, 9:00 a.m. This is highest record of the last five years though the river volumes had risen to the extent Bhutanese had not seen last few decades.

Police force has been mobilized to support the flood hit victims. Thimphu residents braced for the swiftly rising Wangchu while residents along the banks of the rivers in Punakha, Ha, and Thimphu left their homes in search of safe zone.

Major rivers like Wangchu, Punatsangchu, Kurichu, Mangdechu, Chamkarchu, and Parochu have swollen to a record 5-6 times their normal size.

The Thimphu Phuentsholing highway has been washed away at many places and in falling landslides blocked at several points. Dantak said it will take another 72 hours, at least, to reopen transportation along the highway. 

The torrent rain also forced hydropower projects to shut down. The 336 MW Chukha hydropower project was shut from 12 noon till 3:45 p.m on Tuesday. Basochu remains shut and Kurichu project in Mongar reduced production from 50 MW to 26 MW. 

Tala, the biggest plant in the country, reduced its production to 935 MW and due to some burning-like emissions, the plant also shut for four hours.

The centenary farmers’ market was a pool of water. Most of the stored vegetables were damaged.

The Ha-chu washed away four labor camps and a workshop in Ha town.  The road between Ha town and several places has been blocked.

The swollen Darachhu washed away the Dagachu bridge at around 11:20 Tuesday morning, cutting off Dagana dzongkhag from the rest of the country. Around 20 m of the Dagana-Sunkosh road has been washed away.

A massive landslide in Rotpashong on the Mongar-Lhuentse highway and two others in Sengor and Thrumsengla have cut off Mongar from both Thimphu and Lhuentse.