Quake-loss doubles, hundreds homeless

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Sept 21: Two of our correspondents who have been accessing the worsened situation in the September 21 earthquake-affected areas in Bhutan reported that costs of the damages unexpectedly mounted high.     

Sangey Oendray and CP Sharma of BNS informed that the quake has resulted to huge damages in infrastructures that contributed to make hundreds homeless.   

Government officials, local leaders and natural calamities rescuers on the affected areas have made assumptions that the damages has doubled from earlier reports.

Meanwhile, government-controlled Kuensel reported that the quake has damaged a number of homes, schools, historical monuments and government infrastructure.

According to Kuensel. tn Trashigang district, the number of homes damaged now stands at 820, of which 135 have been reported as non-repairable.

The quake also affected 35 government offices and 25 schools in the district, which have closed temporarily. The dzongkhag officials also said that 73 lhakhangs and 81 chortens were damaged. In Udzorong gewog, which prime minister Jigmi Y Thinley visited yesterday, there was major damage to 70 homes. In Mongar, more than 750 homes and 77 chortens have been affected by the quake, as of yesterday. Officials, assessing one of the worst hit areas, Narang gewog, yesterday confirmed that 74 houses there have collapsed and needed to be rebuilt, while 128 houses have been partially damaged. The Narang school and BHU have also collapsed.

Our correspondents further stated that a huge number of Royal Bhutan Army have been deployed on the affected areas to extend relief aid to the victims. 

In an attempt to extend relief aid, UNICEF also donated about 1,000 blankets, 150 tarpaulins and 23 tents for the quake victims.

Following is the data of loss, according to Kuensel

Almost 1,900 homes damaged
47 schools
130 lhakhangs
180 chortens
5 BHUs
12 fatalities
25 injured  

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley, with officials from the Gyalpoi Zimpon’s office and MPs of the eastern districts, have visited Mongar and Trashigang districts yesterday to assure victims of possible help.

PM Thinley has assured that the government would leave no stones unturned to extend support to the quake victims.