Reconstruction of badly hit Norbugang LSS currently underway

Disaster: About 60 men, including officials from Samtse dzongkhag are currently busy extracting timber to reconstruct five structures of Norbugang lower secondary school (NLSS), which were severely damaged by a windstorm on the evening of April 17.

The five structures suffered major damage in the school include a two-storied building with 12 classrooms and another one-storied classroom.  Three staff quarters were also damaged severely.

Although the reconstruction work will start today, Norbugang gup Kinga Wangdi said they would have to continue extraction of timber for another three to four days.

“We need 700 cubic feet (cft) of timber,” the gup said, adding that it would have been difficult without the support received from the dzongkhag team led by the dzongdag.

Gup Kinga Wangdi also said the team would need four more power chain saws today.  Eight power chain saws were in use to extract timber yesterday.

While the dzongkhag administration has supported the school to fuel the chains, the machines were collected from the villagers.

The storm, the second in less than a fortnight, damaged 66 structures, including a school, government offices,  and houses in Norbugang, Ugyentse, Yoseltse, Dorokha, and Sangacholing gewogs on Saturday.

According to records with the dzongkhag officials in Samtse, the roofs of 54 structures have been “totally damaged” and roofs of four structures were partially damaged.  About eight structures had minor damages.

Norbugang was hit the hardest.  About 35 structures have been reported damage, including the gewog’s lower secondary school.

In Ugyentse, a total of 12 households and five government structures were damaged by the windstorm that lasted at least an hour.  In Yoseltse, nine rural houses were damaged and four in Dorokha.

Only one house was affected Sangachholing gewog.

Meanwhile, officials from the dzongkhag and gewog said there was no casualty.  Crops and the livestock were also not affected.

Samtse dzongdag Karma Weezir said the reconstruction work would begin today.

“Dzongkhag team has also distributed tarpaulin sheets to the affected homes,” the dzongdag said. “The dzongkhag relief teams were also deployed in the affected areas to carry out further assessment.”

Dzongdag Karma Weezir also said the insurance officials have reached to the sites as of yesterday.

On the night of April 4 early this month, nine dzongkhags in the country’s southern belt was hit by a fierce windstorm affecting more than 900 structures. In Samtse, about 200 structures were damaged by the windstorm in nine gewogs.


By Rajesh Rai,  Phuentsholing