Earthquake leaves minor cracks and small damages in the East

The 6.7 magnitude earthquake that hit Imphal, Manipur last Monday not only damaged the concerned area but also woke Bhutan with a shake early in the morning. According to the data from the Disaster Management Division most of the damages caused were in the eastern region of Bhutan with some major damage to houses, school facility and Goenpas.

According to the report, Bumthang, Paro, Chukha, Samtse, Haa, Trongsa and Lhuntse had no damages reported. Among the other Dzongkhags that suffered damages due to the quake, Dagana reported minor cracks in four houses in two different Gewogs. In Gasa 5 houses showed minor cracks, 3 houses in Khatoed Gewog and 2 houses in Khamoed Gewog also showed cracks.

In Pemagatshel, 17 houses from four Gewogs (Changshing, Zobel, Khar and Yurung) were reported to have minor cracks on the walls. 22 houses in Punakha had minor cracks. Samdrup Jongkhar reported minor damages in 4 houses and 2 Lhakhangs.  In Umling Gewog in Sarpang Dzongkhag, 1 BHU and RNR meeting Hall reportedly had minor cracks on the walls.

A total of 167 structures in Tashigang had damages due to the earthquake on Monday. The structures include 3 lhakhangs, 1 BHU and rest are houses with cracks on the walls.

Trashiyantse had 112 structures with minor cracks this included houses, 3 Goenpas, 1 gewog office (Tongzang Gewog), Yangtse Dzong and 11 schools along with a principal quarter in Jangphutse Primary School with particularly major cracks. Wangdue Phrodang had 2 houses affected and Tsirang and Dorokha Dungkhag in Samtse had 1 house affected each.

The Department of Disaster Management compiled the data of the damages in the country. The Disaster Management provides relief in times of major environmental disasters. If the damage is beyond the coping capacity of the people, the government provides immediate basic relief. This time the aid will not be provided from the government because the earthquake did not leave major damages. The Royal Office however has been providing assistance to the people whose houses are affected.

“The Department of Disaster Management has a flood map for Punatshangchhu, Mangdechu and Chamkharchhu which provides a clearer idea about the proximity of a flood and safety measures to the people who live in the prone areas but no earthquake map as of now because earthquakes are difficult to predict as to where and when it will happen.” said a senior Programme Officer of DDM. “What we do is we just create a public safety awareness which include the precautions and the do’s and do’ts during and after an seismic hazard.”

The earthquake had some serious and major damages in Manipur with up to 10 casualties and more than 200 people were injured there.

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