A midnight windstorm caused widespread damage to government and private properties, besides disrupting power and other services in several parts of the district. Trees were uprooted, rooftops blown away and electricity cables were snapped.
Residents of the city and surrounding areas had to go without electricity and water till Saturday evening even as the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) authorities struggled to restore the supply.
A heavy storm, accompanied by rain, hit the area around 2.20 am and it continued to cause devastation for at least three hours. A large tree fell on the main post-office building near the Public Works Department (PWD) office complex, damaging both the buildings.
Another tree fell on an electricity transformer at the Police Lines, disrupting transmission lines of the entire area.
Several roads and streets were blocked due to the fallen trees. Half a dozen vehicles parked inside the Fire Brigade complex on Railway Road were crushed under a huge peepul tree.
The entire city was littered with debris. Hoardings, signboards and dish antennae also fell flat due to the squall.
“Massive damage has been caused to our transmission systems, conductors and transformers. Roughly around 1000 poles have been damaged.
Restoration will take time although we have moved in the entire staff and contractors for the same,” said assistant chief engineer Jagmohan Singh. Chief engineer Rakesh Sahi also toured the city to assess damage and oversee the restoration work being carried out.
Electricity was temporarily restored in some parts of the city in the afternoon but the rest of the part remained without it till late in the evening.
Drinking water was supplied to the residents by tankers of municipal corporation and private operators.