The past few days have been difficult and testing, particularly for the people in the south. As the monsoon continues to unleash its wrath, we are losing vital communication lines and increasing number of homes.

Triggered by incessant rain, powerful floods have washed away bridges and roads and highways eroded in parts. Levels of the major rivers have risen to worrying points, threatening to breach the banks. Acres of crops have been flooded and the news of destruction is coming in.

At such times, however, it is reassuring note that led by His Majesty The King, evacuation and relief efforts are in full swing. Leaders in the dzongkhags have been asked to stand ready to provide immediate relief – and they are – to people who are affected by the heavy rains.

Several blockages have resulted due to heavy rains between Thimphu and Phuentsholing. Passenger vehicles have been advised not to ply due to safety reasons. Transhipment of passengers could be an idea, but it is still safe to delay travel. There is a need for extreme caution because the monsoon has just about begun.

In Gelephu, more than 16 households have been evacuated to safer grounds. Desuups and volunteers did a commendable job yesterday of diverting the swollen Omchhu that was posing serious threat to Phuentsholing town. It is comforting to see people rushing in to help in whatever ways they can. This is a sign of our community vitality.

But then, it is often during such times that people begin to take unfair advantage of the situation. Prices of goods ratchet up automatically. We hear that shops in some parts of the country have already increased the prices of goods and have begun hoarding. Eventualities such as these are unfortunate.

These are times when we need to help each other, not to gloat or fatten on somebody’s misery. Measures are being put in place to keep communication lines open so that nowhere in the country communities remain cut off. And we are succeeding.

Until the monsoon is over and gone so, we need to be extra alert and careful. Travel with caution. Keep children away from streams and rivers. In the meanwhile, we could begin contributing in our small ways so that affected families are able to rebuild their homes.