Jumja slide on 24th June Picture Courtesy: RBP

5 lives lost within a week due to monsoon landslides

Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) has issued a travel advisory to commuters and labourers working at road construction sites. The monsoon causes the soil to become loose and makes it for a dangerous time to travel. Just within a week’s time, five lives were lost in two different landslides.

All five died as boulders fell on them. In the first incident on 4 July at Jumja, Gedu, it took the lives of two children, as falling boulder hit their moving vehicle. An eight-year-old boy died on the spot while his younger brother died on the way to the hospital.

On 11 July, three men were drilling and preparing for the blasting works of a new farm road between Orong and Philuma, Samdrupjongkhar. The three lost their lives as a landslide occurred at the construction site.

Two of the deceased were men in their 30s and worked as drillers, while the third one was a 60- year- old who was the site supervisor.

The rescue team that reached the landslide area on the same day could only retrieve the body of the site supervisor that suffered multiple fractures, while the body of the two drillers could be retrieved on 12 July using an excavator machine.

The construction of the new farm road started in mid-March 2018. All the bodies were handed over to their relatives.

RBP said it is an individual responsibility to be extra careful while travelling during summer months due to heavy rains. “Whenever there is any road block caused by landslides, avoid going close to it as it may lead to unfortunate incidents,” the police added.

Police also said that it is the responsibility of a contractor working at road construction sites to give top priority to saving the lives of the labourers. “Summer season leads to frequent road blocks and landslide, and thereby preference should be always given to a life of a person. Avoid working in this kind of weather, no matter how important it is,” the police added.

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