PESHAWAR, June 5: A strong dust storm blowing at the speed of around 55 kilometers per hour on Tuesday uprooted trees and billboards in the provincial capital, killing five people and injuring 40, according to local hospital and rescue sources.
The storm, which began to blow at around 3pm, also damaged power cables suspending electric supply to different parts of the city for long hours.
The storm left roads and streets littered with branches, twigs and billboards. Civic bodies and Peshawar Electric Supply Company called out sanitation staff and technicians to clear the roads and restore electricity.
Four bodies and 37 people with multiple injuries were shifted to Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH), while Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) received a body and 17 injured people.
Huge tree branches fell on two moving cars on the Mall. However, drivers remained unhurt.
Deputy medical superintendent at KTH Dr Mazahir Hussain said a state of emergency had been declared in the hospital to treat the injured, mostly women and children.
An official statement said Rooz Amin, a resident of Warsak Road, was shifted to LRH dead, while several injured were discharged after treatment.
Spokesman for Rescue 1122 said the boundary wall of a private teaching institution fell on a passerby in University Town and the man died in the hospital.
He said storm uprooted trees and damaged billboards in University Town, Campus, Gora Qabristan and other areas injuring pedestrians.
A tree smashed a moving car near Corps Headquarters, but the driver remained safe. Branches disrupted traffic on The Mall and staff of the cantonment board was called to remove uprooted trees.
The storm destroyed electricity lines in cantonment and parts of the city disrupting power supply to several localities. The tree branches fell on power cables damaging the transmission lines.
Cantonment was the worst affected area, where people of several residential areas remained without electricity for six hours.
However, the official spokesman for Pesco was unaware of power breakdown.
A Pesco official told Dawn that around two dozens feeders had tripped due to dust storm, interrupting electric supply from various grid stations.
He said seven feeders in cantonment area, eight in University Town and many in other areas had tripped. He said the damaged lines were being repaired, but it wasn’t clear when electric supply to the affected areas would be restored.
The Kohat correspondent adds: A student of six grade was buried alive after the roof of his house caved in due to strong dust storm in Nasrat Khel area of Kohat on Tuesday afternoon.
As soon as Mohammad Yar entered his house made up of mud, the boundary wall fell on him due to strong winds. The boy died instantly.
His body was pulled out by volunteers from under the rubble. He was later buried at the village graveyard.