When breeze turns into devastating storm
Technology works little, faith does
WHAT started Monday afternoon as intermittent spells of cool breeze in the shadow of dark clouds, by night swell into an unbelievable storm sounding typical of some sequence from horror movie. Shooo! Shooo! Hardly anyone must have failed to hear these horrific sounds of gusting winds as they grew louder and louder with each passing whistle.
At around midnight in my room, a lamp which we have pinned on the electric pole outside our house, was accelerating the scare and my heart beat, alike.
The lamp on the pole kept moving like a tick-tock clock pendulum and so did its light which beamed into my first floor room casting a bright spotlight. The white ghost like light kept moving amid horrific sounds and the only element of scare, which I felt was missing was some woman with vampire teeth clad in Saree walking with a lantern.
But before any such apprehension of mine would come true, I jumped out of the bed and rushed straight to the other room where my sisters were sleeping.
At first, I thought I was the only one scared who preferred taking asylum in the sisters’ room. But a tinkle on my phone at around 1:00 AM changed my perception. It was our online Editor Javed Malik. He too sounded scared and wanted to know the latest of what was the situation in our south City locality.
After a quick talk with him, I called the man, who is often a first choice with media persons to know about any disaster update, Aamir Ali, who heads the Disaster Management cell for Kashmir province.
He too wasn’t asleep but awake. What’s happening? When will the storm end? Any damages? This was a rapid fire from my side. “Weather is likely to improve tomorrow afternoon. Allah Khair Karay,” he replied.
The moment I dropped the phone, senior separatist leader Shahid Ul Islam called me to know the latest. The leader had already made a call to Aamir Ali to know about the storm. Shahid hadn’t,however, disclosed his identity. This concerned father of two small daughters had told the official what should the public do at the time of storm? And when Aamir asked the caller to disclose his identity, Shahid had said: Public. Aamir is understood to have had no better solution than saying: Allah Khair Karay!
The Hurriyat leader was equally concerned about his family. “Allah save us,” he hoped and dropped the phone trying to make his children sleep on the frightening night as the power supply collapsed leaving the entire City plunged in darkness.
NIGHT ENDED, STORM DIDN’T
The sleepless night ended but the storm didn’t. By dawn, the damages started to become visible and phone calls brought along the details. As about the City alone hundreds of houses and other structures were damaged.
The continued gusty winds prompted our online Editor to call Divisional Commissioner Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon advising that to keep the schools closed would be better. And Javed’s mantra worked.
After hearing an announcement of closure of schools on radio, I left my Pir Bagh home to know more about the storm effect. But scene of Airport Road took me by surprise. The strong winds had left the roads crystal clear, perhaps cleaner than what Srinagar Municipal Corporation could ever do. This tempted me to call SMC Commissioner Dr GN Qasba to tell him that his sanitation staff was left with little or no work for the day.
NO SANITATION BUT RESCUE NEEDED
But his reply was stunning. Dr Qasba said sanitation wasn’t the priority amid gusty winds. He said his team has already started rescue and rehabilitation operations in old City the Shaher-e-Khaas, where roofs of many houses had flown away to land straight on the power transmission lines.
Amid dust storm, I drove straight to old City. The vehicular traffic en-route was unusually thin while in Shaher-e-Khaas the scene was pathetic.
Storm continued to hamper rehabilitation operations while some SMC staffers were seen bringing down the GI roofing sheets from over power transmission lines.
TECHNOLOGY FAILS, FAITH DOESN’T
Everyone looked frightened and many debated that technology was failing to predict disasters while many feared the world was heading towards the Dooms Day. This had a reason. If forecast was to be believed, the windstorm should have gone away by afternoon. But their strong version continued to loom large.
Finding the windstorm continue, Shahid-ul-Islam, again called to know what had gone wrong with the weather forecast. But then his next statement had the reply. “Allah alone knows many things,” he said.
By evening, we reached office. One of our colleagues living in Hawal had brought a photo feature in his mobile of the devastation in his neighborhood. Rooftops of many houses had landed straight in his lawns. While the elderly were concerned about the lives, Qazi Azhar-us-Shamas, the four year old son of my colleague was upset because a rooftop which flew into their lawns had broken his bicycle.
We were discussing issues of faith, technology and ofcourse devastation when I called the SP north City, Shoket Shah to know about the details of damages in the old City.
He said at least 405 houses were damaged. But winds having not stopped seem to have even worried even the men in uniform.
The official said the rough weather looked to be a sign of Almighty’s fury. And to support his argument he quoted a Hadith insisting he personally read its authentic reference from Sahi Bukhari, and it states: “Whenever strong wind blew, anxiety appeared on the face of the Prophet Muhammad SAW (Peace Be Upon Him) fearing that wind might be a sign of Allah’s wrath).
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Mar 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Mar 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Mar 2012 00:00:00 IST
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