Nature of destruction
Adverse weather conditions, including high-velocity winds over the last 24 hours, have left two dead and 17 injured in Kashmir since Monday evening. Nearly 9,000 structures and 10 houseboats were damaged. Chief minister Omar Abdullah held an emergency meeting with officials on Tuesday.
Winds push up mercury
“A cyclonic windstorm started on Monday afternoon. It had an average speed of 24.7 knots, and reached a maximum velocity of 40 knots,” said Amir Ali from the disaster management cell. The minimum temperature rose by 12°C above normal due to the steep pressure gradient caused by the winds, he added.
Avalanche traps five
All the schools in the Valley were ordered closed in view of the situation. While a 45-year-old man was killed in Ganderbal district after being hit by a branch, another died in Bandipora district. “Five people were trapped in the snow after an avalanche at Badwan village, Gurez. Two are yet to be rescued,” said Ali.
Power-less to act
The winds also uprooted electric poles, cutting off power supply to 80% of the population since Monday night. Several tourists were rescued from houseboats in Dal Lake, and shifted to hotels in Srinagar. Boatsmen have been warned against venturing into the water body.