Australia floods

Safe, sound and dry

I just got off the phone with Colin McCowan, popularly known as “Mister Col” by Bhutanese studying in Brisbane, Australia.

Col says that he’s in touch with all 25 Bhutanese students in the Brisbane area. And that all of them and their families are safe.

The floods have wrecked unimaginable damage in Queensland. So I’m grateful that our students and their families – all 60 of them – are safe and sound.

Mister Col: thank you for taking care of our students.

Flash floods!

thimphu-flash-flood-26-may

This photo, of today’s flash flood in Thimphu, was sent to me by Nedup. It shows a swollen Wangchu tumbling down from the Lungtenzampa Bridge. Nedup: thank you.

Continuous rain caused flash floods along the Thimphu valley throughout the day. Punakha, Paro, Haa and Bumthang are among the other valleys also hit by flash floods.

After quickly checking on the dzong area, Sunday Market and Changjiji, I spent the rest of the day monitoring the situation in Parizampa, located slightly upstream from Dechencholing. A log from the old bridge there had fallen into the river, but wouldn’t be swept away as its end was anchored securely to the Bailey structure. The log had to be removed. If it wasn’t, debris could build around it and create a temporary dam, causing even more danger downstream.

With the help of an excavator, RBG and RBA personnel were able to dislodge the log from the bridge and prevent a dangerous situation. I wish to thank the brave soldiers and officers of our armed forces. And thank Ap Gem Tshering, the proprietor of Druk Chachap Construction, who quickly organized and allowed us to use his excavator.

It’s not raining now. But the weather forecast is not good. We are told to expect rain for another two days. And that could mean even more flash floods. So we must work together, every one of us, to contain, as far as possible, the damage to life and property.