Being responsible during a difficult time

Heavy rainfall and swollen rivers have caused havoc over the past few days.

Sarpang town was entirely washed away.

The Thimphu-Phuentsholing highway suffered several landslides and a portion of the road completely disintegrated near the troublesome Sorchen area, temporarily severing the link between the capital city and the border town.

Several gewogs in Samtse are cut off as a result of a bridge collapse. A bridge on the Trongsa-Zhemgang highway is on the verge of collapsing.

The business establishment located along the Amochhu in Phuentsholing is partially submerged.

The disaster has claimed at least one life, a DANTAK worker.

Landslides have occurred throughout the country, hampering access and causing some panic. Despite the government’s reassurances that there is enough fuel in reserve, motorists have been rushing to fuel up their vehicles, causing long queues and traffic jams.

The situation is dire, but there is no reason to panic.

As citizens it is important we remain calm, go about our lives normally, and act sensibly so that the system is not put under any unnecessary pressure.

The Thimphu-Phuentsholing highway is expected to be cleared today or latest by day after. The weather is expected to improve by tomorrow.

This may be a more destructive monsoon but we can be reassured that everything is being done to mitigate the impact.

His Majesty The King is personally on the ground in Sarpang directing flood mitigation and relief efforts.

Even the Prime Minister is on the front lines monitoring and even partaking in filling sacks of dirt to place along the Amochhu.

In addition, hundreds of Royal Bhutan Army personnel, Royal Bhutan Police, Desuung, the government, and local volunteers are engaged in flood mitigation or protection work, and recovery and relief.

Similarly on the roads, Department of Roads and DANTAK workers are clearing dangerous slides to ensure that roads are clear.

Like any other situation, this will pass and the sun will shine again. What is important is that we go about our lives normally but not travel unnecessarily.

Most importantly, we need to stay informed through the news and not spread rumours that do not help.

There will be a time to recollect and learn from what has happened and to plan ahead in anticipation of such monsoons. Until then, let us not hamper the system by not doing anything out of the ordinary, and supporting those involved in mitigating the impact of the monsoon by being alert and not burdening the system.

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