The search team has still not been able to recover the bodies of the two women, a mother and a daughter who were washed away in the flashflood in Gangzor, Lhuentse on July 25.

The mother was 49, and her 23-year-old daughter was seven months pregnant. They were washed away when they tried to escape to safety.

Gangzor gewog mangmi, Tshewang Thinley, said dzongkhag officials and desuups led by dzongdag searched from Autsho until Tangmachu while the police team scanned between Tangmachu and Gangzor.

He said the locals of Nimshong and Magar- Somshing chiwogs searched between Gangzor and Linggabi- Dogarpang village, adding that they have also dug every area affected by the flood with the help of an excavator yesterday. “However, we could not recover the bodies yet.”

The team has decided to resume the search when the water volume decreases as it is risky to search along the banks of the swollen Kurichu. “We are not sure whether to continue the search today.”

The flood also washed away a cow and few chickens while it has also damaged paddy fields, vegetable gardens, roads, irrigation channel and few chukhor mani (water prayer wheels).

Gyalpoizhing – Nganglam highway

The Gyalpoizhing – Nganglam highway that was closed to traffic since July 11 after its formation width was washed away would take another four to five days to clear the block.

Department of Road’s (DoR) junior engineer in Nganglam, Jai Kumar, said that although they have cleared the blocks along the highway for 43kms from Nganglam, it will take time to clear the blocks as it is located in rocky areas. 

He said the major blocks were reported between 43kms and 44kms because the base of the road has been washed away in many areas. “We are expecting to clear it in four to five days if there is no rain.”

Jai Kumar said they would need to study the possibilities of clearing a new base along the rocky areas. “It would be challenging and risky for labourers at the site as falling boulders and dry landslides hamper the works.”

Heavy rainfall on July 11 caused several roadblocks along the highway until 44kms from Nganglam towards Gyalpozhing .

Kelzang Wangchuk  | Samdrupjongkhar