Hailstone hits Samphelling and Pasakha

Samphelling gewog and Pasakha, which falls under extended Phuentsholing Thromde is reported to have been hit hard by hailstone last week. The hailstone which hit the area in May 12 has destroyed both houses and crops.

Around 125 households and more than 15 acres of maize fields were reportedly destroyed by the disaster. Ahalley village was impacted the most with highest number of house roofs and crop damage reported. Sixty-two houses were damaged and more than 10 acres of maize field destroyed including 24 fruit trees. Seven chickens and a pig were also killed by the hailstone. There was a single case of head injury reported from the village.

However, other villages were also not spared. Almost all the villages in the gewog were affected by the disaster.

During the assessment done by Sampheling gewog’s disaster management committee, the team found that CGI sheets were caused major damage by the hailstone. It hit hard on the roofs piercing them. The dents have now become troublesome causing water leakage in the houses.

The gewog has however observed that currently, many of the roofs were laid with lesser gauge (thinner CGI sheets) owing to inability to afford higher gauged sheets.

Also, some have complained about rust caused by the industrial pollution in Pasakha industrial estate which made it easier for the hailstone to affect the roofs.

Maize is the most affected crop in the area followed by areca nut, and crops grown for commercial purposes like chilies, tomatoes and beans. Fruits like mango and litchi were also affected by the hailstone.

Chukha Dzongkhag’s Disaster Management Officer, TshewangDorji said that the affected villagers can claim insurance from Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Limited to repair their houses. “But the insurance is liable to those who have higher gauge,” he said.    

Meanwhile, CGI roofs of 40 households at Pasakha, 33 at Pekarzhing and 10 households from Rinchending were reportedly damaged within the extended areas of Phuentsholing Thromde during the disaster. The Thrompon has provided tarpaulin to individual household as an immediate relief material to the affected families. Also, multiple vehicles were damaged.

However, no human casualty was reported during the disaster. Thromde’smember of Disaster Management Committee, Jamtsho said they acted immediately after the disaster and provided materials from the Thrompon as an immediate response.

Krishna Ghalley from Pasakha, P/ling