… a drone was used to survey the landslide site

Lhakpa Quendren

Sarpang – A continuous landslide at Pakhey in Jigmechholing gewog in Sarpang on August 29 raised concerns about a potential artificial lake at the Rongchhu. 

The Sarpang Dzongkhag disaster management committee, after a drone survey of the area and assessing the situation yesterday, ruled out any artificial at the Rong Khola.

According to residents, the landslide occurred continuously from 10am to 5pm, which led to a blockage of the river and the formation of a temporary pool.

“After the landslide, the river dried up and left only a little water on the sides of the riverbed and formed a pool. If there had been rain yesterday, there could have been a major landslide increasing the pool,” said Sonam Zangpo, a resident of Jigmechholing.

Monks perform a ritual to improve the weather conditions

After receiving reports about the incident from the Jigmechholing gewog administration, the Sarpang dzongkhag administration quickly moved about 25 people living in the tshachhu area to safer places.

Sarpang Dzongdag Lobzang Dorji said that although there were no major risks at the slide area, residents need to stay vigilant because natural disasters can happen at any time during the monsoon season.

“As we are still at the peak of the monsoon, more landslides could happen in that area if it rains,” he said. 

He urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel for some time and advised students against going near rivers for picnics and play. 

Dzongdag Lobzang Dorji said that the gewog administration will closely monitor the situation. “We’ve talked with the forest department about taking preventive measures against possible flooding.” 

The Rongchhu, which flows into Maochhu, poses a risk to residents in the tshachhu area.