Windstorm damages vehicles, houses; disrupts power supply

Two vehicles damaged due to fall of a building wall during windstorm in Jammu on Tuesday night. —Excelsior/Rakesh
Two vehicles damaged due to fall of a building wall during windstorm in Jammu on Tuesday night. —Excelsior/Rakesh

Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, Apr 24: Several vehicles and houses were partially damaged due to overnight windstorm in parts of Jammu, Reasi, Samba and Kathua districts while power supply to these districts also remained disrupted for many hours.
The high velocity winds uprooted many trees and also affected movement of the vehicles on the roads. Several vehicles were damaged due to falling of trees, their branches and portion of some buildings in Jammu and Kathua areas. With the falling of trees and branches, the electricity supply cables and poles were also broken in many areas in the region.

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Director Meteorological Department, J&K Sonum Lotus told the Excelsior that due to Western Disturbances, high velocity winds and dust-storm affected many parts of Jammu region last night. He said the velocity winds with the speed of over 50 to 60 kms hit Jammu, Reasi, Samba and Kathua belts, followed by rain and thunderstorm at many places. He said the weather will improve from tomorrow. During night, light rain and thunderstorm may occur at some places across the region.
A police official said that in Amphalla area of Jammu city, a wall of the first floor of an under construction building was collapsed during last mid night. Two vehicles parked near the building were badly damaged. However, no loss of human life or injury to any one was reported. At least half a dozen vehicles said to have been damaged due to falling of trees and branches in different parts of the city here last night, the police said.
Near Janipur Chowk, a large branch of an old tree fell down due to high velocity winds last mid night disrupting movement of traffic for several hours during morning and also broken the electric cables. The power in the area could be restored at around 10.30 am. In many localities of Jammu, the power supply remained disrupted for 7 to 14 hours today.
In Reasi town also, the power supply remained affected for more 28 hours and it was restored at around 4 pm today. The power was still snapped in many rural areas of Reasi district and Katra besides many parts of Kathua and Samba.
Reports from Kathua said that windstorm over night caused extensive damage to the houses of the people, uprooted trees and branches and disrupted movement of vehicles during morning hours today. The tin roof-tops of many houses and schools were also damaged due to velocity winds. The normal life was thrown out of gear in the entire district. However, no loss of life has been reported.
Executive Engineer PDD, Kathua, Mohd Shafi said that in Kathua town out of 52 power feeders affected due to windstorm, 50 have been restored by this evening while two are yet to be restored. He said about 15 transformers in the rural district have been damaged besides 60 poles. The power supply to nearly 75 % area has been restored while in other rural and remote areas, it will be restored in next two days. There is shortage of man power in many remote and rural areas and the restoration work has been taken on war footings, the XEn maintained.
In Samba district also areas of Bari Brahmana, Purmandal, Utterbehni, Ramgarh and Ghagwal were affected. Though no much damage was reported from these areas but power supply to many areas remained disrupted due to breakage of cables and some poles.
Chief Engineer, EM&RE, Jammu, Sudhir Gupta when contacted said that windstorm during last night in Jammu and several other districts caused extensive damage to the power infrastructure. He said maximum damage has been reported from Jammu and Kathua districts. Scores of poles have been damaged and cables broken. Over 50 power transformers have been damaged. The details of damage are still pouring in from various Divisions and Sub Divisions, he added.
Mr Gupta further said while power supply in Jammu city has been restored fully, in other districts, the restoration activity was going on. He said in Kathua and Reasi towns also, the power supply has been fully restored. In some remote areas of these districts, the restoration work will be completed in next two days, the Chief Engineer maintained.