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One killed, 20 injured in storm

April 26, 2019

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A tree uprooted during storm has blocked Khayaban-i-Suharwardi. — Photo by Mohammad Asim
A tree uprooted during storm has blocked Khayaban-i-Suharwardi. — Photo by Mohammad Asim

ISLAMABAD: One person was killed in the thunderstorm on Thursday night and 20 people in the twin cities were injured.

The storm passed through several cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and damaged building installations in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

One person was killed in the suburbs of Gujar Khan by a collapsed wall, and two people were hurt by a signboard that fell on them on Adiala Road, according to a preliminary report by the district administration.

Both injured individuals were shifted to a local hospital.

In Islamabad, Polyclinic received 18 people injured in the storm, of which 12 were administered first aid and six were sent to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences with head injuries.

Strong winds from the west reached a top speed of 110 kilometres per hour in the Chaklala area, declining to around 70 to 80km per hour in Islamabad. The hills ahead also slightly changed the wind direction.

With speeds as high as around 90km per hour in the Islamabad International Airport area, flight schedules were also disrupted for several hours.

Electricity broke down in various areas as well, including Margalla Town and a few streets in F-8/4.

Most of the capital’s streets were littered with twigs, branches and even tree trunks, and there were reports of vehicles being damaged by falling brances.

Staff from the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad’s environment department was on the streets within a few hours to ensure roads remained open for traffic, but they will not begin clearing work until Friday morning.

“There is an SOP that we maintain records of all the fallen wood, which is why it will be conducted in the morning,” an environment department official said.

The Met Office has said that the westerly wave affecting upper parts of the country is likely to weaken from today (Friday), and the weather is expected to be hot and dry in most of the country.

Rain-thunderstorms with strong winds are expected in isolated locations in the Malakand division, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir and nearby areas.

The recent weather system was also the last spell of rain in April, and helped to reduce temperatures in the capital, which fell to 16°C between Wednesday and Thursday.

May is generally hot and dry across the country.

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2019