One killed, 17 injured in Kashmir storms

One person was killed and 17 others were injured as storms wreaked havoc in Kashmir Valley throwing normal life out of gear.

Srinagar: One person was killed and 17
others were injured as storms wreaked havoc in Kashmir Valley
on Wednesday damaging nearly 9,000 structures and throwing normal
life out of gear.

Mohammad Maqbool Magray, a resident of Kangan in
Ganderbal district, died after the branch of Chinar tree fell
on him, an official spokesman said.

Seventeen other persons were injured in similar incidents
in the rest of the Valley due to the high speed winds, blowing
as fast as 30 knots, since last night, the spokesman said.

Property worth crores of rupees was damaged by powerful
overnight storms, he said.

He while 29 residential houses were destroyed, nearly
9,000 structures including 6,670 residential houses were
damaged in the cyclone-like storm.
The severity of the weather condition forced the
authorities to announce closure of all schools to ensure
safety of the students.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who took stock
of the damages, wrote on his Twitter page that the situation
will be properly assessed once the winds stop.

"Reports still coming in of damage to homes on account
of tin roofs blowing away. Will wait for the winds to ease
before we get final number," Omar wrote.

The Chief Minister said the power infrastructure was the
hardest hit because of trees falling on supply lines.

"(Power Development) Department (is) working to restore
(electricity). All but one major hospital has been
reconnected," he added on the microblogging site.
Power supply has been snapped as a precautionary measure
as electricity poles have been uprooted at many places. Phone
and power lines have also been snapped in many areas.

A large by number of people preferred to stay indoors to
avoid getting hit by falling trees, poles, advertising
hoardings and GI sheets flying off the roof tops.

Many tourists were evacuated from Dal Lake by Police as a
precautionary measure in view of possible overturning of the
houseboats due to the storm, officials said.

A group of tourists had a narrow escape when a tree fell
on their hut in Pahalgam resort in south Kashmir, they said.