The thunderstorm on Sunday left behind a trail of destruction. Apart from a large number of trees being uprooted,the power supply to the Tricity was adversely affected. With trees falling on electricity wires and poles causing extensive damage,in some areas power supply could be restored only after a day. The disruption of power supply at hospitals affected the patients.
Around 30 electricity poles were damaged in Chandigarh. Most of these were broken and were beyond repair. These had to be replaced and the electricity wires changed. The repair work started on Sunday night after the storm subsided. As soon as the storm hit,the electricity consumption went down from 150 MW to 2 to 3 MW. This indicates that there was almost a blackout in the city.
Among the worst affected areas were sectors 27,28,30,34,35,37 and 38,and Manimajra. At several other places electricity supply was restored after several hours. Throughout the night power outages were experienced.
Superintending Engineer (Electricity) M P Singh said,The complaint centre has received hundreds of calls since yesterday night. We are making attempts to speed up the work. With a limited workforce all the areas are being catered to. At several places the poles and wires need to be replaced. The extent of damage has been extensive.
One of the main reasons for the electricity wires to be damaged was the trees falling on these. Over the years the height of the trees has reached that of the overhead electricity wires. This causes damage every time there is a storm. In most parts of the city,the streetlights stopped functioning on Sunday. The storm and reduced visibility gave a harrowing time to the commuters.
The essential services were hit at the Sector 6 hospital and no X-ray and CT-scans could be done at the hospital even as the supply remained snapped in different sectors including the posh Sector 7 area during the day. The electricity supply was restored at the civil hospital in Sector 6 only late in the afternoon on Monday.
We are connected with a special power supply line but the line remained snapped and was restored only late in the afternoon, said Dr Sanjay Trehan,special medical officer of the hospital. He added that due to the disruption of power supply line,the work at the pharmacy of the hospital was also affected as the digital token system displaying the names of the people did not work.
The power supply remained affected throughout the day in different sectors and there were reports of frequent power breakdown from some of the areas of Panchkula. S K Nayar,a resident of Sector 15,said the power breakdown was frequent in the sector. Power remained snapped for two hours in the morning in Sector 15. There were power cuts during the day as well.
Even as power remained snapped in some areas,the phone line of the complaint centre of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd (UHBVNL) was not working. UHBVNL spokesperson Dev Rath Sharma said that the UHBVN had deployed its personnel to repair the defects at many places.
In Mohali district,around 40-50 power poles broke down due to the squall. Most of them,however,have been repaired,according to officials who said that most of the repair work had been completed and the remaining work would be completed within a few hours. Apart from this,the transformer in Phase 4 was broken,which is being repaired. Power was restored in most of the other affected areas within 24 hours. Around 50 trees are reported to have been uprooted in the town.
More than 48 injured
Apart from claiming three lives on Sunday,the thunder squall left more than 48 injured. While the three people were admitted to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,around 35 people with injuries caused by mishaps from the squall visited the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital,Sector 16. Two out of the 30 people that visited the hospital on Sunday were admitted with head and nose injuries respectively but are at no life- threatening risk,according to officials. Five more patients came to the hospital on Monday morning with minor injuries. At Government Medical College and Hospital,Sector 32,around seven with mostly superficial injuries were treated on Sunday while three where admitted.