Thunderstorms, hailstones and squall… Bangalore experienced it all on Wednesday evening.
The skies opened up and heavy rain lashed the city for more than an hour. Hailstones were reported in Malleswaram, Kodigehalli, Hegdenagar, Vijaynagar and Rajajinagar. As expected, tree falls not only disrupted power supply but also traffic.
The Meteorological Department said the city received 17.7 mm of rainfall and HAL Airport 29.4 mm. The havoc was, however, due to high wind speeds: a breathtaking 54 kmph no less. The rain was caused by the trough of low pressure extending from Vidarbha to south of Tamil Nadu across south interior Karnataka. The weather conditions will prevail for another 48 hours.
The control rooms of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Traffic Police, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) were flooded with complaints.
Slow traffic gave those bound for the Devanahalli airport some tense moments. Some passengers frantically called various control rooms in panic after which the traffic police intervened to ensure smooth movement on Bellary Road.
BBMP Commissioner Bharatlal Meena and senior officials went around the city to take stock of the damage in Chamarajpet, Vijayanagar, RPC Layout, Chandra Layout and BCC Layout.
According to BBMP officials, the maximum numbers of electric poles and tree falls were reported in Vijayanagar and Rajajinagar. Several vehicles, including 15 cars, were damaged by falling trees and branches.
The stretch between Water Tank Road and Amarjyothi Nagar in Vijayanagar was blocked completely after trees fell on electricity poles and snapped the power lines. Traffic was diverted through other roads.
Sources said tree falls were also reported in Milk Colony, Malleswaram 18th Cross, Aurobindo Circle in Jayanagar, Mehkri Circle, HMT Tower near Bellary Road, HMT House, R.T. Nagar, Dinnur Road, Race Course Road, Platform Road and Sadashivanagar.
Several areas in the city were plunged into darkness after electricity poles were damaged in many areas. Aggrieved residents from Nagarbhavi, Magadi Road, Chandra Layout, Vijayanagar, Mathikere, Jayanagar, Yelahanka and Rajajinagar complained about hours of disrupted power supply.
Cricket fans, particularly in Vijayanagar and Rajajinagar, went crazy as the power outage prevented them watching the crucial semi-finals on TV.
Officials in BESCOM's central control room told The Hinduthat gangmen and engineers from almost all sub-divisions were working double time to set things right.
Several arterial roads were waterlogged, particularly New BEL Road, Air Force Station HQDC, Old Airport Road, Platform Road, Okalipuram, Mehkri Circle and Kasturba Road.
Meet on preparedness
On Monday, the BBMP Commissioner chaired a meeting on rain preparedness. Senior officials from BESCOM, BWSSB and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. attended the meeting, sources said.
Keywords: Nature's havoc