Sheikh Imran Bashir
Agence India Press
Srinagar: A massive windstorm hit Jammu and Kashmir damaging hundreds of homes, uprooted trees, shattered windowpanes, towers and blocked roads in Kashmir Tuesday, officials said.
Strong winds blowing across the Dal Lake in Srinagar city have also damaged many houseboats, they said.
However, tourists evacuated from Dal Lake by Police as a precautionary measuring in view of possible overturning of the houseboats due to the storm.
A group of tourists in Pahalgam had a narrow escape when a tree fell on the hut they were staying in. Reports say the windstorm will recede on Tuesday.
High speed winds at 30 knots per hour have been blowing across the Valley since last night, causing extensive damage to residential houses and public infrastructure in many places.
Power supply has been snapped as a precautionary measure as electricity poles have been uprooted at many places. Phone and power lines have also been snapped in many areas.
Schools throughout Kashmir have been closed as the unprecedented windstorm kept residents on tenterhooks. The administration has advised all its wings to remain in a state of maximum preparedness to meet the crisis.
A senior officer told Agence India Press that, hundreds of homes have been damaged because of the windstorm. Roofs have been blown away at many places; trees uprooted by the windstorm have blocked roads, damaged homes at other places.
“We are gathering information from different districts to assess the actual damage caused. No loss of life has so far been reported from anywhere in the valley.”, he said.
The officer also said all district headquarters have been converted into emergency headquarters to meet the crisis.
Reports reaches to Agence India Press from Leh town of Ladakh region also said that the nightlong windstorm had created panic there.
The Met department has said the windstorm will recede by this afternoon.
Meanwhile UAE will continue to witness hazy weather conditions for the next few days, with wind speeds going up to 70km per hour, the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) has said.
Temperatures have seen a steady decline over the past few days, with mercury dipping to 8°C in some areas of the country. The weatherman says “another fall in temperatures is expected” today, with “wind gradually decreasing during night over inland.”
Northwesterly winds may reach 70 km per hour at times in the country’s coastal and mountainous regions while in internal areas, they could go up to 50 km per hour according to the NCMS weather forecast.
A weather warning suggesting “strong northwesterly wind with blowing and in-suspension dust/sand causing significant poor visibility and very rough sea” has been issued by the NCMS for today. (AIP News)
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