Hailstorm, winds lash south Bangalore

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Power lines snapped 6.30 pm onwards as trees fell and brought down electric poles

Gusty winds accompanied by rain and hailstorm lashed parts of south Bangalore on Wednesday evening, plunging several areas into darkness after power lines were snapped as several trees fell.

At least 40 trees fell in Hanumanthanagar, Srinagar, Katruguppe, Nagendra Block, Muneshwara Block, Thayagarajanagar, parts of Padmanabhanagar and other areas in the vicinity. The nearly one hour rainfall that started around 6.30 p.m. brought traffic to a near halt on several main roads as trees were uprooted and branches broke off. Rain water gushed into about 20 homes in low-lying Veerabhadra Nagar, near Hosakerehalli.

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Bangalore Electricity Supply Company officials struggled to restore power after at least 40 electricity poles fell to the ground as a result of trees falling. Many areas went without power for more than 4 hours and power supply was yet to be restored. “The count of damaged poles could go up further since we are still getting reports from field officials,” a BESCOM official said, adding that emergency squads have been pressed into service to restore power.

The gusty wind that blew has been termed as a squall, as wind speed recorded for a brief moment was 61 km per minute.

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) ‘Prahari’ vehicles, with equipments to clear fallen trees, were pressed into service and additional vehicles were drawn from other zones to clear the roads. Movement of vehicles was affected on J.C. Road when a tree fell on a car near Minerva Circle.

Hanumanthanagar seemed to be the worst affected as at least a dozen trees fell to the ground. “The tree-lined 50 ft. road in Hanumanthanagar has a large number of trees on the ground. Power supply snapped around 6.30 p.m.,” said businessman Sajjan Raj Mehta, who struggled to remove a tree that had fallen on his house in Hanumanthnagar. Trees falling on houses were reported in other areas too. By 8 p.m., the BBMP Central Control room had received complaints of tree fall in Padmanabhanagar, Veerabhadra Nagar, K.R. Market, Thayagarajanagar, Attiguppe, Basavangudi, Vijayanagar, Girinagar, Byatarayanapura, M.C. Layout, K.P. Agrahara, Shankapuram and Kathruguppe.

A Met official said that rainfall data recorded in the City was ‘trace’ and the Met Department does not track area specific rainfall.

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