Lightning struck a 28-year-old woman of Darla (Tala) in Chukha on the night of May 28.

The woman was referred to Phuentsholing general hospital yesterday and health officials say she is recovering.

The same evening, a windstorm blew off roofs of about 12 houses in eight villages and damaged acres of cornfields in the locality.

Officials from Phuentsholing drungkhag and Darla gewog administration were still compiling reports of the total crops as of yesterday evening.

At Gengu village, the roof of a house was completely blown off. Parts of the roofing sheets were strewn in the cornfields.

The house owner, Pema Drukpa, said the wall supports inside the house are also tilted. “I was at my brother’s house when the windstorm struck.”

He said that he is hopeful of getting help from relevant government agencies.

Another villager of Gengu, Goray Gurung, 52, said although his house was not affected, his maize plants are completely destroyed.

“The maize fields were already affected two times this year,” he said, adding he had worked hard to bring up the affected corn plants. “Now, these plants will not grow as it has been hit severely.”

Darla gup, Mil Kumar Mongar, who was inspecting the affected homes with his team yesterday, said roofs were damaged the most. “Some houses also reported of developing cracks.”

He said Darla is a big gewog and they are assessing the damages.

A farmer, Bhim Bahadur Karki, 80, of Barkhey village said his house developed a crack. Vegetables such as pumpkin, plum, and maize have also been affected in his garden.

Another farmer, Deo Maya Poudyel, 55, said the windstorm was a ferocious one.

Although her house is not affected, Deo Maya Poudyel showed the greenhouse destroyed in her garden, and said chilies, tomatoes, and corn were completely damaged by the windstorm.

Meanwhile, some farmers also had re-roofed their houses by yesterday afternoon.

A villager, Bhakta Bahadur Mongar, said he borrowed CGI sheets from a friend, as he couldn’t find his roofs.

“I have to be ready before the night falls,” he said. “We haven’t slept through the night.”

Officials from Phuentsholing drungkhag, Darla gewog, and insurance company inspected the villages yesterday. Other infrastructures affected by the windstorm are Darla farm-shop, Chumilakha primary school (CPS), gewog office, and poultry and piggery farm.

In CPS, the partially damaged three-unit classrooms and a staff quarter have been restored yesterday, while the two-unit classroom that was totally damaged will be restored in few days.

Phuentsholing drungpa Karma Rinchen said not all houses were affected severely.

“However, we have identified 12 houses for insurance,” he said. “We have asked RICBL to speed up the process for compensation.”

Meanwhile, farmers are planning to help each other restore the houses.

Karma Rinchen said the whole community would help rebuild the homes once they get the insurance.

The drungpa said that the damage is more for crops. “The complete report for the crops damaged will be known today.”

Meanwhile, falling trees blocked the Phuentsholing-Thimphu highway between Kamji and Gedu. The road has been cleared for traffic.

Rajesh Rai | Darla