Sherab Lhamo

With the onset of the monsoon, Bhutan reported a total of 27 roadblock incidents across the country yesterday, one of the highest reported in a 36 hours.

A total of 14 roadblocks were reported on the Primary National Highways (PNH), and 12 were on the Secondary National Highway (SNH).

The National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM), on July 11, issued a weather advisory stating that heavy rainfall and floods were expected on July 12 and 13.

The situation is expected to worsen as the data with the centre showed heavy rainfall, riverine floods, flash floods, and mudslides in the weeks to come, with moderate rainfall expected over the southern and central parts of the country until July 19.

Majority of the roadblock incidents were reported in the eastern and the southern regions. Landslides were the primary causes of roadblocks, affecting several route sections in Zhemgang, Wangdue, Trongsa, Gelephu, Dagana, Phuentsholing, Samdrupjongkhar, and Pemagatshel.

The country reported a total of 14 landslides, four debris flows, two road width washouts, two falling tree incidents, one RCC hume pipe blockage, one earth flow, and one rock slide.

Landslide, rockslide, and debris flow caused significant disruption in Tingtibi to Panbang PNH, resulting in roadblocks. Yesterday, a heavy rainfall caused a flash flood on Tingtibi- Panbang PNH for a distance of 55.1km, affecting the entire base width of the road.

Ngawang Namgyel from the Tingtibi regional office of the Department of Surface Transport said that the department was prepared according to the NCHM weather advisories to tackle the disruptions caused by the monsoon.

“Machines were strategically placed in areas prone to calamities, aiming to minimise the impact of unexpected landslides and roadblocks,” he said.