Strong winds and rains take down trees and power lines, injure many in the city
The thunderstorm that hit Bengaluru on May 8 has affected various areas like HSR layout, Bommanahalli, Malleswaram, Banashakari, Jaya Prakash Nagar, RR Nagar and Nityanandanagar among others with trees falling and power cuts due to heavy rain.
Thunderstorms and rains will continue for three days and gusty wind warnings have been issued for both North and South Karnataka, said the Bangalore Meteorological Department..
Sahil Choudhary, a software engineer from HSR layout said that a tree fell in front of his house and on the main road. “BBMP was clearing the fallen trees till late night,” he said. “There was no electricity for 17 hours straight. It is difficult to charge our devices for work the next day,” he added. It is disappointing to see lack of infrastructure in a city nicknamed as tech city when it comes to such thunderstorms and electricity cuts.
Suresh, an official from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said that 67 trees fell in Bommanahalli. Seven trees fell in Jaya Prakash nagar. There were no waterlogging complaints.
Ansel Lobo, a resident of Manammanapalya road said that the power was out for six to seven hours because of the rain. He contacted BESCOM for the same but his efforts went in vain, Lobo added.
Bengaluru Electriciry Supply Company (BESCOM) said that at least 375 electricity poles have been damaged and broken; 30 transformers were damaged while 398 tree trunks have fallen on power supply lines.
Akshay Krishna, a resident from Haralur road, South-East Bangalore, said that he and his friends were in a clubhouse to escape the thunderstorm where they parked their cycles. “Soon after parking, a tree at the entrance fell on the cycles. Later, other trees around them also fell and the windows in the clubhouse cracked and water started coming in,” he said.
Sunil Reddy, a resident of HSR layout and committee member of the stadium said that he was out there during the storm and rushed home. The intensity of the storm was at the maximum speed that he saw in 20 years of his stay in Bangalore. “I had a narrow escape from the storm. The wind was travelling at an intense speed for 3 minutes and my car was also damaged. Many other people also witnessed damages of their vehicles,” Sunil Reddy said.
The weather department said that the highest wind speed recorded was 61 km per hour.
Kiosk upturned at the stadium
The strong winds upturned the kiosks at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium. Satish Reddy, Member of Legislative Assembly, Bommanahalli ward said that the wind was intense at 150 km per hour speed and it uprooted 150 trees in Bangalore. “The stencil umbrella at the stadium broke. The damage is of Rs. 25 lakhs and it will take 15-20 days to repair it,” he said.
The stadium was inaugurated on March 1 by CM Basavaraj Bommai. The cost of the stadium was Rs. 50 crores.
“Without any investment from BBMP, we will work on the repairs in the upcoming days. We have directed the contractor to make the repairs. BBMP superintendents will look after the allowance and clearance of the stencil fabric as there were discussions around the quality of it,” said Satish Reddy. The incident will however have no impact on the events and nothing will get postponed, he added.
“In the last 30-40 years, this was the strongest wind. Two-three people were injured and two-three vehicles were damaged,” said Satish Reddy.
Sunil Reddy said that National Disaster Relief Fund officials were at the stadium till 2 a.m. to assess the situation and to take the necessary measures. One person was injured and is admitted to Narayana hospital and some others also suffered from minor injuries, he added.
People were playing as usual till 5 a.m. around 6:30 p.m. the strong wind started blowing because of which the board of the stadium fell down along with the canopy, said Shashi Kumar, a security guard at the stadium. “One person got injured on his forehead and nose,” Kumar said.
Thunderstorms yesterday were because of the convection and local heating, said A Prasad, scientist at Bangalore MET department. “The wind system here is intense and it drags moisture from the Arabian Sea which travels over the Western Ghats leading to formation of clouds. Hence, north and south Karnataka will be experiencing rains these days due to the local heating system and dragged moisture from Arabian sea,” said Prasad.
South Karnataka will face thunderstorms and rains for the next three days. Gusty wind warnings have been issued for one to two places as the wind speed is predicted to be 30 to 40 km per hour.
The cyclonic storms are strong at the Bay of Bengal as of now and are about to hit off coast of North Andhra and South of Odisha by evening tomorrow, Prasad said. These severe cyclonic storms will aid the cloud formation already happening over coastal Karnataka because of convection leading to thunderstorms and rains here in the upcoming days, Prasad added.
Electricity cut off at Nityanandanagar
Heavy rain accompanied by a thunderstorm on Sunday evening caused lot of damage in Nityanandanagar Bengaluru.
The electricity supply was disrupted. Many trees were uprooted and caused heavy damage blocking roads in the area.
Sridhar, owner of an enterprise that makes Ganpati idols on the Nalakhamba road said, “The factory’s roof top is made of tin sheets which were blown away by the wind and destroyed the idols.”
He added, “There is nothing I can do about it. We are arranging the tin sheets again. I incurred a loss of Rs. 10 lakhs which includes idols and sheds because of the rain.”
An official from Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) said that “20 electricity poles have broken because of trees falling on them. We are fixing the poles and expecting electricity to come after 6.30 pm today.”
Pushpa, a shop owner, said that several transformers collapsed and there is no electricity. “I don’t know when the current will come back. They are saying two days but I think it will be more than that.”
Naveen, an internet service provider is working since five in the morning to fix the wires that connects several colleges in the area to the internet. “A lot of damage has happened. The entire damage is somewhere around Rs. 50,000.”
Dr. Geetanjali from the Meteorological department said, “We had already forecasted rain and thunderstorm in the city two days ago. It might continue for the next week as well.” No one was hurt but the residents are concerned about the electricity supply.