Two flash floods in Trashiyangtse destroy five bridges

Two flash floods that began in Bumdeling, Trashiyangtse, on June 26 washed away three reinforced cement concrete (RCC) and two wooden bridges.

It also washed away an excavator in the gewog and destroyed paddy fields, irrigation water sources and fallow lands belonging to 16 households.

Following heavy downpour in the gewog, the two tributaries of Kholongchu, Nakpola and Kukturgang stream in Tshaling village swelled, causing the flood. The incident took place around 6pm.

The Nakpola stream located around 3km from Bumdeling gewog centre washed away an RCC bridge and a wooden bridge after the stream destroyed the gabion wall constructed to protect flood in Nakpola.

Officials from the dzongkhag disaster management said that after the gabion wall was partially washed away, the flood destroyed around 1.15 acres of paddy field and some 25 acres of fallow land.

Villagers and officials from dzongkhag build a temporary wooden bridge over Kukturgang stream

The second tributary, Kukturgang stream, which is located some one kilometre from Trashiyangtse town, washed away two RCC bridges and a wooden bridge. Officials said that the two RCC bridges connecting the gewog centre road were completely washed away.

The wooden bridge at Hangzomkang village, which was recently built, was also completely destroyed. Three irrigation sources in Kukturgang, Chuthakhang and Zanglabrak were also destroyed affecting three households and about 2.095 acres of cultivated land.

The dzongkhag disaster management officer, Lekjey, said that as a temporary measure two wooden bridges were constructed at Chuthakhang and Kukturgang for people to cross over. “The Nakpola stream is still huge which is why we could not do much there,” he said.

He also said that a suspension bridge in the area, which was not destroyed by the flood, should be able to help the pedestrians to cross the river for now.

Lekjey said that a meeting among all the stakeholders would be held today to discuss further initiatives. “We have asked the people in the nearby areas to be vigilant for now and have also deployed people for patrolling since yesterday.”

Meanwhile, Bumdeling gup, Mani Wangda, said that the two tributaries have a history of creating devastating floods in the area. He said that in 1999, the Kukturgang stream swelled washing away a few settlements and claimed a few lives. “Last year also there was a flood but it wasn’t that severe.”

He said that the Nakpola stream swells every year causing damage to the nearby residents.

Mani Wangda said that the stream has become a concern for the people in the gewog. “This is the second time Nakpola stream has swelled this year.”

Younten Tshedup | Trashiyangtse

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