As trees crash, some areas face long power cuts
Following a heavy thunderstorm on Sunday, Bengaluru witnessed long power cuts and roadblocks. Heavy rain and gusty winds led to uprooting of trees and snapping of cables and wires across the city.
The Bengaluru weather office has issued a warning of heavy rain in north and south Karnataka. As per the forecast, thunderstorms and rain are expected to continue in the region for the next three days. Sunil Reddy, a resident of HSR Layout, said: “I had a narrow escape last night. I was out when the storm started, and quickly rushed back home. As soon as I reached home, I saw people posting videos and pictures of fallen trees and damaged vehicles on social media. My car also got damaged in the storm. The wind was too fast.” He had not seen such a storm in the 20 years he has lived in Bengaluru, he shared.
The Observer saw broken electricity cables were lying on the roads in HSR Layout Trees that had crashed made it difficult to walk on the road.
Other parts of Bengaluru experienced similar weather conditions. Akshay Krishna, a resident from Haralur Road, said: “We were going out to play volleyball when the sky turned black real quick. While we were playing, it started to rain heavily. Winds were also blowing fast.. As we were going out to bring our cycles in, the tree next to the entrance broke and fell on them.. Windows in the club house developed cracks. As the seal broke, water started to come inside.”
The BBMP said 67 trees were uprooted in Bommanahalli, and seven crashed in JP Nagar. HSR Layout, RR Nagar, Banashankari and Malleswaram were also affected.
Sahil Choudhary from HSR Layout complained of a 17-hours-long power cut in hisarea. “It felt like living in the Dark Ages. I had no battery (charge) in my phone or laptop. I just couldn’t work.” Choudhary, who works from home, was afraid of losing out on work due to the long power cut.
Ansel Lobo, a resident of Manammanapalya Road, had a similar story to tell. He said there was no power for 6 to 7 hours in his area. He wanted to order food, but due to the heavy rain, he could not. He contacted Bescom in vain.
On the contrary, Zain Ansari, a resident of Vijayanagar informed The Observer that his area did not receive much rain.
Stadium canopy left upturned
Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium, which was inaugurated 1 by the chief minister on March 1, had one of its canopies upturned because of the winds.
Shashi Kumar, a security guard at the stadium, informed The Observer that there was just light rain around 5pm, but after an hour, it started to rain heavily. The showers were accompanied with strong gusts of wind. A board came down first, followed by the canopy. A passerby was injured on the forehead and nose.
Sunil Reddy, a member of the stadium committee, said the injured man was admitted to Narayana Hospital in HSR Layout.
Bommanahalli MLA Satish Shetty said: “Repair work has started and within 15 days we will be able to complete it. This will have no impact on the events.” The cost of damage was nearly Rs 25 lakh.
A. Prasad, a scientist from the Metrological Department, said: “The thunderstorm was because of the convection and local heating. The wind system here is intense and it drags moisture from the Arabian Sea which travels over the Western Ghats, leading to the formation of clouds. Therefore, south Karnataka will continue facing thunderstorms and rainfall for the next three days. Warning against gusty winds has been issued. The wind speed is predicted to be 30 to 40 kmph.”
Cyclonic storms are stronger than usual over the Bay of Bengal. They will hit the coast of Andhra and south of Odisha by the evening of May 10. “These cyclonic storms will help in more cloud formation, leading to more rain and thunderstorms in Bengaluru.”
The weather office said that the highest wind speed recorded on May 8 was 61 kmph.
Bescom said at least 375 electricity poles and 30 transformers were damaged, while 398 trees crashed on power supply lines.