Ghunsa locals migrate to avoid extreme cold

Phidim, January 1

The locals of Ghunsa, a popular tourism hub, have migrated to warmer areas due to the increasing cold in Taplejung of late.

Ghunsa folks migrated to the capital, district headquarters Phungling and adjoining Phale due to excessive cold since the last week of December. With the exodus of local residents, security personnel deployed in the area have become more vigilant.

Taplejung Police Chief Shanti Raj Koirala said, the locals had been facing water crisis as water started to freeze in the pipes due to excessive cold.

Chumdak Sherpa, a local, said they had left the village and urged police personnel to look after their houses. “Even in previous years, we used to migrate to warmer places for around three months,” he said. There are 61 households in Ghunsa, which is located at the altitude of 3,400 metres.

Due to the lack of transportation, the locals have no option but to ferry the daily essentials using mules or porters from Phungling, which is a three-day walk from Ghunsa. “If somebody falls ill, we have to either airlift them or carry them on our backs to health centres,” said police.

Temperature in the adjoining Panchthar district plummeted since Thursday. Panchthar District Hospital Chief Dr Pawan Sah said the number of seasonal patients had increased.