A flash flood on April 29 evening has left parts of Lhuentse covered in debris.
The early childhood care and development centre (ECCD) in Nakeythang for 20 children was among the three public structures the dzongkhag lost to the flash flood.
Incessant rain swelled the Lekpagangchu stream caused the flash flood, which lasted for about an hour. The damage it left behind is the biggest for the dzongkhag in the last three years. The ECCD would remain closed for more than a week.
Lhuentse received one of the heaviest rainfalls in the country on April 29. A convective rainfall, which occurs for short duration and a normal incidence during the transition period from winter to summer, caused the flash floods, according to the National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology report.
The dzongkhag education sector plans to clean the debris with the help of parents who enrolled their children at the ECCD. However, the restoration of a room that the centre lost to the flood is expected to take more time.
Dzongrab Kinley Dorji said that preliminary damage reports were reported to the department of disaster management yesterday. “If the damage merits funding from the centre we have to wait,” he said. “Otherwise, we have a monsoon restoration budget that can be used for the renovation though it may not be enough.”
The dzongkhag’s annual monsoon restoration budget is about Nu 1 million.
Water sources that catered to residents living near a car automobile workshop at Jabin, which is about 14 kilometres away from Lhuentse dzong, an open-air gym at Nakeythang and the ECCD centre had started operation a year ago.
Temporary measures to restore water supply to nearby towns and residential area,and the roadblocks near Nakeythang were cleared on April 30.
Kinley Dorji said no major damages occurred at the water sources that supply water to the town and nearby residential areas near dzong areas. “Restoration works of damaged water pipes are on-going and we are planning to resume water supply in a day or two.”
Tenzin Dema, a resident of a nearby housing colony at Nakeythang said the colony did not have water supply since the flash flood until yesterday. “We managed using muddy water and used clothes to filter it for drinking,” she said.
The single storied fire hydrant system pump house remains covered in sediments and muddy water. It was renovated last year and handed over to the dzongkhag police division for operation.
The flood also damaged a bridge connecting the dzongkhag court and its reconstruction is estimated cost about Nu 4 million. The dzongkhag administration said it would take time to restore.
Meanwhile, a roadblock at Jabin, Tangmachu that had stranded more than 30 vehicles along the Mongar- Lhuentse highway opened to traffic around 9pm on April 30.
Nima | Lhuentse