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The Sunday storm damaged more than 33 structures in Trashigang
The Sunday storm damaged more than 33 structures in Trashigang

Windstorm causes havoc in eastern Bhutan

A late afternoon windstorm destroyed over 60 residential and public structures in Mongar and Trashigang on Sunday, March 31.

The damage to the affected households in two dzongkhags was immediately assessed and affected families received support from the respective disaster management sector yesterday.

Jurmey gewog was the most affected in Mongar
Jurmey gewog was the most affected in Mongar

More than 30 households were affected by the windstorm in Mongar. Jurmey gewog was the worst affected with 13 houses destroyed. One in 13 households lost the entire roof to the storm.

The gewog in the past years also experienced similar disasters. Gewog administration officials said that such natural mishaps affected those households that couldn’t afford to build strong houses.

“There are only a few people who could afford to build stronger structures,” said Jurmey Gup Rinchen Gyelpo.

Damages to structures were also reported to the disaster management office and respective local government administration in Drametse, Narang, Kengkhar, Thangrong, and Drepong in Mongar.

On the same day in Trashigang, a windstorm in the evening damaged more than 33 houses and public buildings that included an early learning centre and a police office.

Among 33 households, Thrimshing and Udzorong gewog reported the highest number of houses with damages. Yangner gewog was the least affected.

In Thrimshing gewog, the storm blew off the roof of police office and ECCD centre in Thungkhar. One staff quarter of the dungkhag was also damaged.

Gewog officials say 10 structures were damaged completely while two were partially damaged.

According to Thrimshing gewog administration officials, the gewog was most affected with more than seven houses destroyed by the windstorm.

Gup Ngawang Dorji said the locals experienced a fierce storm for about an hour at around 1:30pm. “The gewog collected the report and informed dzongkhag disaster management and Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan (RICB) to assess the damages.”

RICBL officials said that except for one house, all houses that suffered damages were insured with RICB.

RICBL official, Dawa Dhendup said that RICBL will have to compensate a maximum Nu 30,000 per household and the office will have to provide compensation worth more than Nu 400,000.

Trashigang dzongkhag’s disaster focal officer, Phuntsho Wangdi said officials from disaster management went to the field for assessments and provided necessary facilities to the people.

He said the total number of affected households could not be confirmed, as respective gewogs were still compiling the reports.

A resident, Phuntsho Wangdi, said the roof of his house was completely damaged and he is taking shelter at a neighbour’s house. “It might cost more than Nu 30,000 to repair my two-storied house. I am worried.”

Few affected individuals are now taking refuge with neighbours and the disaster management sector has provided all those affected with tents.

Kidu official from the dzongkhag also assisted the dzongkhag disaster management sector in assessing the damages and provided support kits to the affected households.

Nima and Neten Dorji

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