Monsoon: Incessant rain since August 18 night caused the seasonal Sethikhari river to swell and flood the road while also triggering landslides to block the road at Box cutting in Gelephu.

On August 19, dzongkhag officials along with police personnel, road officials and locals came together at the site to help divert the floodwater.

A police official said that two excavators were deployed to help divert the floodwater and prevent it from entering the houses.

“There are lots of houses we focused on river diversion,” he said. “We also managed to clear traffic for light vehicles by 10:30am, ” he said.

He added that they did not allow heavy vehicle to ply through because some parts of the road were washed away.

Police officials said that some people and an excavator were also deployed at Box cutting on the Gelephu-Zhemgang highway to clear the blocks.

While the floodwater was diverted as of yesterday, Gelephu residents said the flood at Sethikhari occurs almost every year and the authority should look into it to prevent similar events in future.

“We had to pass the flood area with help of police personnel and volunteers to reach our office in Gelephu but its risky for students who have to cross that area everyday,” a corporate employee said. “The authority should look into this for the safety of people and the settlement.”

Sethikhari is about five kilometers away from Gelephu town towards Lodrai.

Regional transport officer Kinga Gyeltshen said they have stopped public transport buses from plying to Zhemgang and Trongsa. As of yesterday, the roads were still being cleared and buses were not allowed to ply.

“If it stops raining, vehicles might be able to ply since the department of roads is already clearing the road blocks,” he said.

Yeshey Dema, Tsirang