Islamabad - The twin cities were Thursday seen reeling under the huge effects and shock of the windstorm followed by thunderstorm which hit the city Wednesday evening with the civic agencies striving to clear the roads of fallen trees and billboards, and collecting remains of the storm.

The windstorm hit the city at a speed of around 150km/h, disrupting life and causing damage to property at a large scale. However, no death was reported due to the storm and rain. According to the local police, Rescue-1122, and Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) rescue department, there was no reported death in the city, however, the city hospitals have reported minor injuries to over 100 persons. On the other side, dozens of vehicles were damaged as the trees fell on them in different parts of the city.

The storm also caused suspension in traffic at some of the city roads. According to the authorities, a fallen tree blocked traffic at Margalla Road near Shalimar Cricket ground. The 7th Avenue was blocked as an electric pole fell down and the IESCO was called for rescue. Fire erupted in Sabzi Mandi as electric wires fell on ground. Many trees and signboards fell near Kalsoom plaza, Islamabad Chowk, Golra Morr and Haji Camp which resulted in blockade of traffic. The road from Aabpara to Lal Masjid was also blocked due to the fallen trees.

According to the Capital Development Authority (CDA), 30 trees including Paper Mulberry, Silver Oaks, Chir have been removed from different areas. The Sanitation Directorate has collected more than one thousand tons of garbage from different areas, which was properly disposed of later on. More than 2000 sanitary staff, 400 staffers of Environment wing were deputed in different areas of the city and heavy machinery was utilised for removing trees and other remains. The meeting was informed that remains of the fallen trees and other garbage from the major roads have been removed while staff of different formation is busy in removing waste from the streets. The meeting was informed that a fire incident occurred at I-11 Sabzi Mandi which was controlled owing to quick response of Emergency and Disaster Management Directorate and thus major loss was averted.

The CDA officials said that major clean-up operation in the aftermath of intense windstorm and rain is being carried out in the entire city. All major roads have almost been cleared while staff of different formations is busy in removing left over of the damaged trees and other material scattered as a result of windstorm and rain. They said that all the formations were mobilised immediately and staff of Emergency and Disaster Management, Sanitation, Environment, Municipal Administration started removing fallen trees, billboards, garbage and remains of the windstorm. The operation is being carried out in collaboration with Islamabad district administration and other concerned departments.

CDA Management has directed the concerned formations to utilise all available resources in this regard so that cleanliness operation could be completed by Friday.

our staff reporter adds from Rawalpindi: The windstorm led to collateral damage in several parts of the city besides claiming two precious human lives and injuring 50 others, exposing the preparedness of the City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) for any calamity.

The massive storm paralyzed normal life in the city while uprooting trees, electricity polls, tin covers of roofs, huge-sized billboards and other stuff causing intense load-shedding even for more than 24 hours.

According to hospital sources, two people - brother and sister - namely Majid and Kanwal were killed while their mother sustained injuries when roof of their house collapsed during heavy winds at Dhoke Hassu. Moreover, 50 persons sustained critical injuries. The victims were shifted to District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital and Holy Family Hospital for medical treatment.

The heavy winds also caused gigantic traffic jam and disrupted communication system besides excessive load-shedding. Unfortunately, WAPDA could not restore the electricity supply despite passage of 24 hours.

Malik Bisharat of Chuhur Chopal told The Nation yesterday that heavy winds uprooted trees and polls leading to suspension of electricity. He said that WAPDA did not restore the power supply despite several complaints. Commissioner Rawalpindi Division and District Coordination Officer were not available for their comments on the issue.