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Flood: An artificial lake has been formed along Drangmechu River following a cloudburst that caused Bamri and Bodhi  streams to flood on  August 21.

As a result of the flash flood, the two streams have deposited debris and boulders along the Drangmechhu basin, according to a report prepared by the dzongkhag and submitted to the home and cultural affairs ministry.

The dzongkhag with the help of the Department of Roads (DoR), Project DANTAK and the Royal Bhutan Police jointly carried out the inspection.

The report also states that debris on the left bank constricted the river flow forming a 2km long lake.

The Bamri and Bodhi streams are located along the Trashigang to Kanglung gewog highway and eventually join the Drangmechhu.

The formation of the lake left many concerned after pictures and rumours circulated on social media that the lake could burst anytime.

This is because the Chazam bridge that connects Trashigang with other dzongkhags is located upstream of the artificial lake.

However, Trashigang Dzongdag Chekey Gyeltshen said that although an artificial lake has formed there is no immediate threat to life and property based on professional advice provided by the Department of Roads and Project DANTAK.

“There is no threat to the bridge because the lake has formed about 30m from the bridge downstream,” the dzongdag said. “There is also no threat to the highway and people because there are no settlements downstream that are endangered and people shouldn’t panic,” the dzongdag added.

The dzongdag pointed out that along with the police, the dzongkhag administration is monitoring the artificial lake daily while the metrology office in-charge is monitoring the river level on an hourly basis.

However, the dzongdag added that during the inspection, as per expert opinion, it was found that mitigation measures will be possible only after the monsoon ends.

“We were told the clearing of debris could be possible only when the river subsides and it’s not possible right now,” he said. “But we’re doing everything possible to keep a close eye on the lake formation.”

Yangchen C Rinzin | Samdrupjongkhar

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