Monsoon wreaking havoc again

The past two weeks have been quite a tragic one as we saw the monsoon wreak havoc in many parts of the country.

Triggered by incessant rain on the early morning of June 18, a 55-year-old woman was buried by a landslide, which flooded into the rooms of a flat in a four-storied building at Kabreytar in Phuenthsoling.

Similarly, a landslide buried the house at Tshothang in Lauri gewog, Samdrup Jongkhar, on the morning of June 18, and the bodies of the 63-year-old woman and her 21-year-old daughter, who were at home during the incident, were recovered by the rescue team at around 2 pm on the same day.

Further, the 50m multicellular bridge over Baunijhora stream at Pasakha, which is an important link between Phuentsholing and Pasakha, including the industrial estate, was submerged in debris following a flash flood on June 17 due to continuous rain in the past few days.

While the bridge is still under the debris, vehicle movement between Phuentsholing and Pasakha resumed through a temporary bypass on June 20, which road officials say might also get blocked anytime soon.

And after having stranded more than 20 vehicles at the block above Narphung for about two nights starting at around 3 pm on June 17, the block along the Samdrup Jongkhar-Trashigang highway was finally cleared and the highway opened to traffic at around 1 pm on June 19.

Similarly, reports are there of the continuous rainfall, triggering landslides, flash floods, and roadblocks, blocking and disrupting travel to many places in the country, and unfortunately, a few places and regions have been cut off from other parts of the country for more than a week now.

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. As a geologically fragile country, the monsoon could bring along humungous disasters if we are not careful.

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

We could even refrain from going near a river during and after heavy rain and use weather information to plan our travel accordingly. It is increasingly become important to commute only if it is absolutely necessary and inevitable.