Windstorm Killed 3, Damaged Over 12,000 Houses in Kashmir

Srinagar, March 21: The death toll in the cyclonic windstorm in Indian administered Kashmir has risen to three with two more deaths including that of a 2-year-old boy reported while according to official estimates more than 12,000 houses were damaged.

“Mohammed Akram Rigoo, 65 died in a hospital in Srinagar today after he was injured when a tree fell on him during the windstorm yesterday,” an official spokesman said.

He said 2-year-old boy Tajamul Bhat son of Mohammed Ashraf of Shapora, Qazigund also died.

A 45-year-old man had died yesterday in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district when he was hit by a huge branch of a Chinar tree, which fell due to the fierce windstorm.

The spokesman said 29 persons sustained injuries and are undergoing treatment at various hospitals.

He said over 12,000 residential houses were partially damaged and 95 residential houses fully damaged in the windstorm.

“4,074 non-residential houses were partially damaged. About 25 government buildings, 16 school buildings and a hospital building were also partially damaged. 10 house boats in world famous Dal Lake suffered extensive damage in the windstorm. Nearly 108 house-boats have been partially or marginally damaged,” he said.

High speed winds at 30 knots per hour have been blowing across the Valley since Monday night, causing extensive damage to residential houses and public infrastructure in many places.

A power department official said the damage to LT/HT transmission network was tentatively estimated to the tune of Rs 4.66 crores. “Power Development Department (PDD) has restored 700 MW of power as against 900 MW total requirement. The restoration work is in progress and is likely to be completed in next three days,” he said.

Official reports said more than 500 trees were also uprooted by the windstorm.

Fayaz Wani reports on life in Srinagar, Kashmir.