Disaster relief

Chamkhar fire

At 2:00 am yesterday morning, even as fire raged through Chamkhar town, the Galpoi Zimpoen’s office was already coordinating efforts to control the disaster. Three hours later, together with the Dzongdag, Royal Bhutan Police, civil servants, monks, students and local residents, His Majesty the King’s representatives in Bumthang were able to contain the fire from spreading throughout the town.

By then, the inferno had left behind a trail of destruction – two men lost their lives, 42 houses were razed to the ground, 66 shops were destroyed, and 267 people were left homeless.

But, at the command of His Majesty the King, who is in India, the Zimpoen’s office was already busy arranging food and temporary shelter for the shocked victims. And by the afternoon, His Majesty the Fourth King had reached Chamkhar to personally oversee the relief and recovery efforts.

Most of the victims in Chamkhar have lost their entire life savings. And their road to recovery will be long and difficult. I hope that their plight will move the Parliament to establish the Relief Fund as soon as possible.

Photo credit: BBS


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  1. Netshuel Dulaenpa says

    Fire fire every where. In the forest, in the dzongs and in the houses. It is sad to note that the fire has been many lives and wealth from the hands of our people. But it also reflects the weak fire safety systems in Bhutanese homes. This can even include our govt. buildings. If the fires costs the govt. annd people so much I think it is worth spending in fire safety systems. How many more houses may be burnt, how many lives lost, how many more trees will have to be fallen and so on. So let us all remember SAFETY and put it into practice.

  2. Phub Dorji Wang says

    It seems we are now struck by another kind of disaster, a fire disaster. It is happening again and again and public doesn’t seems to learn from somebody’s disaster. Every after the fire disaster we come to know that most of the houses are not insured. It becomes additional burden to our magnanimity king to look for the welfare of the victims. It is high time the government should make mandatory to insure all houses with the two insurance companies at the value to reconstruct the house in case of disaster. People should be educated by concerned agencies about the importance of insurance. Prevention is always better than cure.

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