Cyclonic Winds: Two die, dozens hurt in Valley

Srinagar: The night long windstorm which continued on Tuesday also caused havoc in the Valley. Two people died while dozens others were injured and thousands of houses and other structures damaged in the storm.
Police sources identified the two persons who died due to the windstorm as Mohammad Maqbool Magray of Kashnambal Kangan, Ganderbal and Tajamul Ahmad Bhat of Qazigund, Kulgam area.
An official handout said that 17 persons have been injured, 29 residential houses fully damaged and 6670 partially damaged due to the windstorm.
“2166 non-residential structures, six government buildings, and 10 houseboats have been partially damaged,” it added.
The windstorm caused maximum damage in Lal Bazaar and Soura areas of the city with damage to rooftops of hundreds of residential houses, business complexes, shops and school buildings. Electricity transmission lines and poles were also damaged due to the storm plunging the Valley into darkness since last evening.
Police sources said that rush Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) were dent during the night to rescue of tourists putting up in houseboats in Dal lake. Eyewitnesses said houseboats rocked precariously in the turbulent waters.
The Chairperson of Houseboat Owners Association, Azim Tuman said, “Many houseboats have suffered damage because of the windstorm. In some cases, the occupants barely managed to escape with life as their houseboats were precariously jolted and rattled in the windstorm.”
Reports reaching KNS revealed that three tourists received minor injury in Pahalgam hill station after a pine tree collapsed on the hut in which they were lodged.
Many fallen Poplar and Chinar trees have blocked the roads in north Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reviewed the situation at 12:15 pm here, which was also attended by Minister of State for Home and Revenue, Nasir Aslam Wani, Minister of State for R&B, Javed Dar, besides Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, IGP Kashmir, SM Sahai, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Baseer Ahmed Khan, Chief Engineers of EM&RE, R&B, PHE and Joint Director, Fire & Emergency Services.
The Divisional Commissioner ordered all schools to remain closed for the day for the safety of the students. All offices were, however, open and essential services were being restored on war footing basis, an official spokesperson said.
All Deputy Commissioners have been asked to activate control rooms in their districts so that the rescue and relief can be coordinated.
However, flights operated normally, with slight delays on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, people have demanded compensation on the pattern of Leh cloudburst of 2010. “Hundreds of crores of compensation was disbursed in Leg within days after the cloudburst. On the same pattern compensation should be disbursed here,” they demanded.


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