No major damages reported

Kuensel reporters 

The heavy downpour that cyclone Amphan triggered didn’t cause major damages in the country, but helped Mangdechhu hydroelectric plant (MHEP) to generate more than its capacity yesterday.

The plant started generating electricity more than its capacity from yesterday with 791.39 Megawatt (MW) of power generation achieved yesterday afternoon. This was 10 percent more than its capacity of 720MW.

The plant generated a revenue of about Nu 7.47 billion to the nation since its commercial operation in July last year.

MHEP managing director, AK Mishra said that the actual generation exceeded beyond the detailed project report projections for January to April this year and generated about 51.46 million units.

Amphan impact

Meanwhile, there were several roadblocks along the Gyalpoizhing- Nganglam highway between 38km and 44km. Department of Road (DoR) said that the roadblocks could be cleared by today if the weather improves.

If the weather does not permit, it could take more than a week to clear the blocks. This is the third time the highway has been blocked this year.

DoR Assistant engineer in Nganglam, Jai Kumar, said they could not visit the site because of falling boulders. Excavators are ready at the site.

Jai Kumar said since it is located at a rocky area with steep cliffs, it would be challenging and also risky for labourers at the site because of the continuous falling boulders.

Meanwhile, the Nganglam-Pemagatshel and Samdrupjongkhar-Trashigang highway remain open to traffic.

DoR officials said a few roadblocks on the Nganglam-Pemagatshel highway were cleared immediately. “But it would be better if commuters avoid travelling along the highway as boulders are falling continuously.”

A fully loaded oil tanker has been struck since morning at Reotala slide point on the Gelephu-Trongsa highway causing traffic jam from both sides. DOR Regional Office in Trongsa is arranging additional machines to clear the road. It is expected to open to traffic towards the evening today.

Trashigang-Samdrupjongkhar highway is blocked at 69km from Samdrupjongkhar towards Tsheringkhor.

The Tsirang-Sarpang was temporarily blocked at Darachhu for two hours. It opened by 5pm yesterday. DoR officials said machinery is stationed at the site since there is landslide from continuous rain in the area.

East Bhutan

In Mongar, three households in Thangrong gewog were moved to a safer location yesterday.

Mongar dzongkhag disaster management officer, Karma, said the families were shifted into the temporary shelter made out of tarpaulin sheet.

In Kengkhar gewog, a household lost around a 60-decimal maize field to the windstorm yesterday afternoon. The damage is yet to be assessed.

Five gewogs of Silambi, Gongdu, Kengkhar, Jurmey and parts of Drepong had a power blackout since 4:30am yesterday. Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC) restored electricity for Kengkhar, Jurmey and Drepong gewogs by 10am. Maintenance for Silambi and Gondu gewogs are underway.

The in-charge of Gyalpoizhing electricity service sub-division (ESSD), associate engineer, Karma Gyeltshen, said a five-member operations and maintenance team is doing line-by-line patrolling and part-by-part charging after finding the faults. What caused the outage is unknown.

Meanwhile in Tsirang, heavy rain and windstorm early morning yesterday flattened about 80 decimal maize field belonging to six households in Rangthangling gewog.

Similar damages were reported in Patshaling gewog but gup Chabi Kumar Rai said damages would be assessed once the weather improves.

Burichhu-Sergithang bypass road is partially blocked by landslide and boulders. Sergithang gup Man Bir Rai said that the road could be cleared manually once the rain subsides.

Most of the dzongkhags did not report any damages. Dzongkhag and gewog leaders said they remain vigilant and are monitoring all the risky areas.

Meanwhile, cyclone Amphan has weakened into the Cyclonic Storm yesterday over Bangladesh, according to the National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM). It is likely to continue to move north-northeast and weaken further into a depression.

NCHM forecast says northern, western and central parts of the country during the next 48 hours would be mostly cloudy with light to moderate rain.

Southern and eastern parts of the country can expect moderate to heavy rainfall during the next 24 hours. Thunderstorms and gusty winds are likely at isolated places over the country during the next two days.