Thinley Namgay      

Heavy snowfall in the last few days resulted in the loss of yaks, damages to greenhouses and caused scarcity of fodders and mobile network issues in the highlands.

Trashigang’s Merak and Sakteng highlanders said the snowfall was unusually heavy this time.

In Merak, snow damaged greenhouses belonging to about 150 households.

According to Merak gup Nima, herders and animals in lower valleys are at risk as tree branches are falling these days because of the weight of snow. “Many yak herders are running out of fodder. Yaks have died.”

He said the gewog is compiling information right now. “I have informed the villagers to submit details of casualties to the gewog.”

Gup Nima said this is the second time Merak received heavy snowfall after 1991. “It will take some time to melt.”

He said the gewog had also allocated a JCB excavator to clear the farm road.

A tshogpa in Sakteng, Tshangpa, said situation is similar in the gewog. “We are running short of fodder.”

He said they are waiting for the snow to melt soon. “Otherwise, we might lose yaks.”

Tshangpa said some herders are today in lower altitude places like Jomotsangkha  near Samdrupjongkhar.

In Lunana, Gasa, people had to stay without mobile network connection for five days.

Dawa Gyeltshen, who is stranded in Punakha, said about 60 people from the gewog are stranded in Punakha.

He said people are planning to use the chopper service after seeking permission from the government. “We will leave all our horses with friends and relatives in Laya.”

Thimphu’s Naro gup Gyem Tshering said that the snow damaged few greenhouses in his gewog.

He said there was no issue with essential items as the people stocked them.

Lingzhi’s gup Wangdi, who is currently stranded in Thimphu, said he had been trying to reach people in his gewog but couldn’t due to network issues.