At least 30 people, including women and children, died and scores of others wounded on Wednesday when heavy rainfall and thunderstorm hit upper parts of Pakistan. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federal capital Islamabad and its neighboring city Rawalpindi hit most by the devastating storm. Most casualties were resulted due to the incidents of roof collapse and damages to the properties and infrastructure. Local residents say it was one of the most powerful storms that had ever seen. Trees in great numbers were uprooted; billboards and other vulnerable infrastructure came down, poorly built walls and houses collapsed. Windows and multi-storey buildings were blown in. Flights at the Benazir International Airport were suspended until the wind slackened. Cars were crushed by falling debris. After the havoc of storm it was reported that its speed was unprecedented 148 kmph in Islamabad and slightly less 125 kmph in Rawalpindi. The duration of the windstorm was also unusual at 25-30 minutes. It is a fact that it is hard to stop natural events but better preparedness surely can reduce the damages. Had the measures taken to stop the exercise of illegal installation of massive hoardings those are dangerous for public, devastation could be reduced. Concerned authorities should take action against illegal installation of hoardings. Hundreds of trees in Islamabad coming down also raise question on the performance of development authority of the city. Citizens believe that had the CDA done its job properly regarding tree pruning damages could have been reduced. Most of the property damages and road accidents were the direct result of tree fallings.
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