The wrath of monsoon

The monsoon is here and we have seen it wreak havocs in many parts of the country this week.

Incessant rain triggered a landslide at Khoraypam near the Pemagatshel town on the early morning of August 26, which claimed lives of a couple, while their one-year-old daughter is still reported to be missing.

The incident occurred when a massive landslide hit the area where the two-apartment hut was situated and all the occupants were swept down by the landslide. While the body of the mother was recovered more than four hours after the landslide, the rescue and search team is still looking for the missing daughter.

And just two to three hours before on the same day of August 26, the swollen Mochhu reportedly washed away the popular Gasa Tshachu. Fortunately, no lives were lost. The swollen river was caused by heavy downpour days prior to the incident. This is, meanwhile, the second time that the hot spring has been washed away by flash flood.   

Further, the incessant rain this week has also brought travel to a halt in many places, besides making commuting risky and precarious.

The Trashigang-Samdrup Jongkhar highway had been blocked for around four days after the road was blocked by landslide and huge falling boulders at Namla (near Kanglung towards Trashigang); thus leaving commuters and vehicles stranded at the site for days.

Similarly, reports are there of the continuous rainfall, triggering landslides and flash floods, blocking and disrupting travel over many stretches of the roads in many places in the country.

Experts, meanwhile, attribute all these developments to global warming for bringing in major climatic changes and affecting the seasons drastically. They say that the monsoon has not been the same with quite erratic rainfall in recent years. This explains why some farmers of the country are suffering from water issues, while others are flooded by incessant rainfall.

Another reason that makes us vulnerable to the undesirable impacts of the monsoon is our geographical topography. True to the Prime Minister’s words the monsoon spells disaster if we are not careful as a geologically fragile country.

We may not have a one-stop solution or an answer to avert all these problems, but the least we can do for ourselves and our family is by being vigilant and more responsible, especially during the monsoon. We can begin this by keeping ourselves informed on weather updates and check for alerts from government agencies on road closures during the rainy season.

We can refrain our children and loved ones from going near a river during and after a heavy rain and use weather information to plan our travel accordingly. We must commute only if it is absolutely necessary and inevitable. It’s only through vigilance and carefulness that we can avert the many risks that come with the monsoon.