By Sonam Choki
Following the news of a family losing lives to a landslide in Pemagatshel this morning, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said rescue efforts are on and that they are keeping their hopes for the daughter who is still to believed be buried under rubbles.
Lyonchhen further said His Majesty is very concerned and has commanded all relevant agencies and local functionaries across the country to monitor situations closely and to offer immediate support to those affected.
“We are worried for the lives and livelihood affected by the monsoon, particularly the crops and yields of our farmers. I am dearly praying for the safety of children who have to walk the paths fraught with slides and swelling streams to school and back,” the PM said.
He added that unlike many other countries, we don’t have to deal with massive community transmission of COVID-19 and related deaths. “This gives us the opportunity to focus on preventing any casualties from other natural disasters,” he said.
“I have requested local authorities to share timely information on the road conditions and other details for public safety.”
Incessant rain in the past few days had triggered a massive landslide in Shumar gewog in Pemagatshel burying two houses and a mother and her daughter.
While rescue workers managed to fish out the body of the deceased mother from under the rubles, the hunt for the missing daughter is still on. Additional sources claim that the husband of the deceased, who was earlier evacuated to the hospital, has also passed away.
Meanwhile, the cluster of houses and ponds at the Gasa Hotsprings has been completely washed away by a swollen Mocchu at around 2am today morning following continuous rain.
Earlier in June, Bhutan saw one of its most recent monsoon tragedies when about 10 highlanders who were collecting cordyceps in the highlands were buried by a massive landslide.
The UN IPCC report also warns Bhutan of increasing incidences of climate-related disasters and states that measures to fight these disasters should be bolstered.