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Trees uprooted, billboards damaged as twin cities hit by strong winds

RAWALPINDI: Strong winds accompanied by rain and a hailstorm uprooted trees and blew away temporary shelters and billboards in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi in the early hours of Sunday.

Electricity supply in several areas of the city remained suspended. However, the weather turned pleasant.

The Met Office recorded a maximum wind gust of 70 knots (130 kms per hour) from the northeast. At Zero Point, the wind speed was recorded at 40 knots (80 km per hour) while in Chaklala Rawalpindi it was 110 km per hour. The sun overpowered the cloudy sky in the morning.

Trees in Ayub National Park, Jhelum Road and Peshawar Road were uprooted whereas solar panels installed on the roofs of houses in DHA Phase-1 and Gulistan Colony were blown away. Windowpanes of some houses in Media Town, Bahria Town and adjoining areas were damaged due to the hailstorm. There were also reports of damaged windscreens of cars. The power supply remained suspended causing problems in some areas.

The Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) officials said the power supply remained suspended due to strong winds.

The Met Office recorded 31 millimetres of rain in Chaklala, 23mm at Shamsabad, 29mm at Saidpur, 21mm at Zero Point, 15mm at Airport, 5mm at Golra and 2mm at Bokra in Islamabad. The mercury dropped from 42°C to 34°C in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The Met Office said a seasonal low lies over northwest of Balochistan and its adjoining areas. Moist currents from Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal are penetrating upper and central parts of the country.

Rain-wind/thundershower is expected in Kashmir, upper and central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa. Isolated heavy falls and hailstorm are also likely while hot and dry weather is expected in other parts of the country.

According to an alert issued by the Met Office, wind/thunderstorm with heavy falls at times may generate urban flooding in low-lying areas of Azad Kashmir, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala and Sialkot.

On the other hand, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood told that the water level increased in the Leh Nullah but remained below the flood alert.

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