Deluge: A flashflood triggered by persistent rain washed away a suspension bridge and a truck in Samdrupjongkhar yesterday.
The police said that effort was made to alert the driver of the truck when they saw the river swelling but he was nowhere to be found. Soon the flood washed broke the retaining walls, damaged the parking lot and carried the truck away.
With the bridge that used to connect Samdrupjongkhar Primary School with the town now gone, the school remains totally cut off. No damage has been done to the school, however.
Sonam Tshering, the school’s principal, said the school might remain closed until further notice and that immediate measures must be worked out to connect the school with the town.
“We haven’t found any solution yet. There is an old footpath from the other side of the river, but it is thickly forested and is difficult to use,” Sonam Tshering said.
The bridge was constructed in 2008. The school’s request for a concrete bridge was turned down because the school was not eligible for a concrete bridge.
The school management has asked for prompt assistance so that sessions are not disturbed.
Flashfloods like this occur every year in Samdrupjongkhar. Townspeople said that it is high time a permanent solution was sought, especially near the bus terminal.
The school has 547 students from Pre-primary to Class VI.
Thromde’s education officer, Dorji Gyalpo, said that a meeting will be convened today to discuss the possibility of laying a new bridge over the river.
There have been reports of several roadblocks in many gewogs. However, no casualty has been reported as yet.
Yangchen C Rinzin, Samdrupjongkhar