The owner claims he lost belongings worth Nu 80,000 and Nu 60,000 cash

The landslide in Narphung that went viral in social media where a portion of a ridge came down blocking the Samdrupjongkhar-Trashigang highway left more than 100 vehicles stranded on either side of it.

The landslide that occurred around 4pm on July 29 also washed away a hut belonging to the caretaker of a Hindu temple.

The 80-year-old caretaker, Lali Bahadur Tamang, who was inside the hut during the landslide managed to save himself after hearing the sound of falling boulders. “I ran towards the temple.”

He said that he lost all his belongings worth Nu 80,000 and Nu 60,000 he saved during his service as GREF worker.

Lali Bahadur Tamang said that GREF’s officer-in-command (OC) also visited the site and told him to stay at the GREF camp. “They are going to issue me the emergency kits and utensil but I have lost everything.”

He said he has been working as a caretaker for more than 30 years and retired a month ago. “But I was advised to continue working as a caretaker.”

People claim that the landslide occurred out of nowhere and it is not known what caused it since there was no rain that day and there are no road widening works underway.

Although the road was cleared to traffic by the afternoon of July 30, the road was properly cleared by yesterday morning.

Motorists had to halt at the site.

Sangay, 35, said he reached the site at around 4:30pm and had been waiting for the road to be cleared but no one turned up. He was travelling to Kanglung from Samdrupjongkhar.

He said he couldn’t go back since there were more than 100 vehicles behind and with no other choice, he had to spend the night there. “It was difficult without food and proper shelter, especially the kids.”

A truck driver, Chenga, said he might have to stay another night at the site since he has cement load and his truck will not be able to ascend, as the wheels slip in the sand.

He said he doesn’t have shelter problem because he sleeps in the truck but it’s difficult to spend the night without food. “It would help if the GREF could clear the road properly.”

Kelzang Wangchuk |Narphung