Sunday, January 20, 2019 | 11:19 PM

2 die as strong winds batter Kashmir

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A strong windstorm blew across much of the Kashmir valley on Saturday afternoon causing not just a loss of life but also leaving behind a trail of destruction in many areas. 

At least two people died from the inclement weather, one was knocked off a hill by strong winds in Boniyar, Uri, and another died when a bolt of lightning struck him in Islamabad district. The weather turned bad in the afternoon when a bank of dark clouds suddenly dimmed the light as high winds began to blow. In much of north Kashmir, high winds uprooted trees and knocked down powerlines and tin roofs.
The Meteorological Department had issued a weather alert warning of strong winds and rain on Saturday. But everybody was taken by surprise when strong winds began to blow across Kashmir in tandem with lightning, thunder, hail and rain. The weather department has warned that bad weather would continue for many more days.

According to the police Muzaffar Ahmad died on the spot and two others standing near him fell unconscious when lightning hit him in the Uttersoo village in Anantnag. The two have been hospitalized.

A 65-year-old man Jalal Din Cheenaza of Boniyar, Uri was on a hill when a gust of wind knocked him down the hill. He died from the fall, said his family. The police said he was grazing his cattle in the forests when the incident occurred.

The strong winds tore through apple orchards and fields knocking down scores of trees in many areas of northern Kashmir. A few houses were also damaged by the windstorm. Power supply remained cut off in much of Kashmir due to the storm. The storm blew so hard that people chose to remain indoors in many areas. 

India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday said that as of now they have issued a warning for moderate thunderstorm over the north western plains for 13 May and 14. It has issued a severe weather warning for the western Himalayan region of Jammu & Kashmir for Sunday and Monday.

However director MeT department, Sonam Lotus, said that intermittent rains accompanied by thunderstorm will continue for four more days. He said that people should take precautions. He said that there is nothing to feel scared about but there is need to take precautions in view of thunderstorm and gusty winds. “Both thunderstorm and gusty winds during four days can be severe.” He said it will be accompanied by a drop in temperature.