ISLAMABAD: A second thunderstorm in 12 hours brought respite from the high temperatures but also uprooted many trees and caused minor damage to properties across the twin cities. Train and metro bus services were suspended in Rawalpindi due to the winds as well.
The thunderstorm came in from the north west late Tuesday afternoon and was accompanied with strong winds with a speed of 93km per hour in Islamabad and exceeded 130km per hour in Rawalpindi.
“The reason for the strong winds in Rawalpindi is urban heat phenomenon which creates a low pressure zone above cities which release too much hot air from air conditioner and vehicle emissions,” an officer of the Met Office explained. He said the reason the wind was slower in Islamabad was resistance by trees.
Train, metro bus service, electricity supply in Pindi suspended during the second thunderstorm in 12 hours
The continued hot weather is likely to bring another strong thunderstorm on Wednesday as well.
Strong low pressure was established by late Monday evening after three days of high temperature in the region which resulted in strong winds from the cool areas in the north and west arriving to fill in the vacuum like situation.
The situation eventually brought in light rains early Tuesday morning, but the following hot and humid conditions triggered another thunderstorm Tuesday evening.
The strong winds broke or uprooted about a dozen trees in Islamabad and a senior official of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad told Dawn an emergency team has been dispatched to clear the roads and pathways as soon as possible.
“We have not received reports of serious damage caused by fallen trees or damage to property,” the official said.
According to the Met Office, dry weather is expected in most parts of the country during the day on Wednesday. Dust-thunderstorms and rain with gusty winds are expected in scattered places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Fata, Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir as well as in isolated places in DG Khan, Sahiwal and Multan at night.
Gusty winds uprooted trees and billboards in the garrison city where it also hampered the train and metro bus service and suspended the supply of electricity in most parts of the city.
A century old tree on Canning Road, Saddar was also uprooted which fell on a taxi cab though the taxi driver and nearby vendors remained safe. An old beggar sitting under the tree escaped with minor injuries.
Soon after reports of the falling of a tree on the main road, officials of the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board garden branch came and cut down the tree trunk and opened the road for the general traffic.
Billboards and trees were also uprooted on Airport Road, Peshawar Road, Rawal Road, Jhelum Road, Adiala Road, Islamabad Expressway, Kashmir Road and others. Some of the billboards fell on rooftops in Saddar and Murree Road and were removed by Rescue 1122 when they were called by worried citizens.
The wind blew fibre water tanks and rooftops off mud houses in Dhoke Ratta, Fauji Colony, Pirwadhai, Dhoke Chiraghdin and areas along Nullah Leh.
The supply of electricity was also suspended in some areas. Officials of the Islamabad Electricity Supply Company (Iesco) the supply was suspended due to gusty winds.
Residents of the city said power break breakdowns had been going on in the city for two days and blamed Iesco and the government for this.
A resident of Airport Road, Mohammad Waseem said the lack of electricity supply also leads to shortage of water because tubewells cannot be run without electricity.
Mohammad Safdar, a shopkeeper of Saddar said the markets were closed and that there was also no electricity in homes.
“We installed CCTV cameras in and around the market but they do not work without electricity,” he said, adding that UPS were installed in the market but were not connected to CCTV cameras for fear of short-circuiting.
Pakistan Railways’ train service was also slowed down due to the winds and drivers were asked to drive the trains at 80 km per hour instead of the usual 100 km per hour in the hilly parts of the Potohar region. In the city areas, the Metro Bus Authority stopped the service for half an hour to avoid any untoward incidents.
Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2017
Dear visitor, the comments section is undergoing an overhaul and will return soon.