Update: The Royal Bhutan Insurance Corporation office in Gasa on January 4 handed over a cheque of Nu 397,490 to the dzongkhag revenue office as rural insurance claim for the houses that were damaged by the December 26 windstorm in Lunana.

The day after the windstorm that lasted for three to four hours, a helicopter carrying a four-member assessment team led by foreign minister, Damcho Dorji visited the affected villages and assessed the damage.

The RICBL damage assessment reported that the windstorm has affected the roofs of 80 houses including three government structures in Thanza, Toenchay and Tshojong villages.

Gasa’s RICBL incharge, Chimi Dem said as per the estimates, the highest insurance claim was Nu 43,751 for a two-storied house that suffered major damages followed by Nu 29,477 for a one-storied house. Five of the affected houses would be paid more than Nu 20,000, and rest would receive between Nu 10,000 and Nu 20,000.

Two of the affected houses suffered only minor damages and were estimated to be paid Nu 1,000, said Chimi Dem. The dzongkhag officials through local leaders would pay the compensation to affected households.

The windstorm has also partially damaged the roofs of three government structures including an out-reach clinic, an extended classroom and the office of the flood warning system. Two yaks were also killed by the windstorm and 45 solar panels were destroyed.

During the visit around 10 households were given tarpaulin sheets to use as temporary roofs and protect from snowfall. “The minister also told the affected people that government would provide timber for roofing,” said Lunana gup Gyembo Tshering.

Meanwhile, RICBL officials said around five houses; three in Khatoe and two in Khamey gewogs, have reported minor cracks from the earthquake on January 4. However, since the cracks were minor, the houses were not assessed.

Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue