Stormy winds wreaked havoc in many parts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Tuesday, leaving at least two people dead and several others injured.
More than 100 houses and shops were also completely or partially damaged, officials said citing preliminary reports.
Mohammad Safeer, a burger joint owner, was inspecting his under-construction house in Gulshan Colony of Muzaffarabad when a concrete block, uprooted by the strong gusty winds, hit him in the head, killing him on the spot.
In Baloch, a town in Sudhnoti district, a 4-year-old girl named Malika Afraz was killed and her 2-year-old brother Adeeb was injured when their house collapsed, said deputy speaker of AJK assembly Sardar Farooq Ahmed Tahir, who had returned from that area.
Over a dozen houses and two educational institutions were also damaged in Baloch but no additional casualties were reported, he said.
In Ghaziabad and Kiyat villages of Dhirkot subdivision in district Bagh, winds destroyed 22 houses and partially damaged another 26, said Saeed Qureshi, the director of State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).
Speaking to Dawn from the area, he said winds had uprooted roofs of 22 houses, leaving people high and dry.
“Fortunately, there are no serious casualties except bruises suffered by some people,” he said.
Qureshi said as many as 18 shops were completely damaged in Ghaziabad and Kiyat.
In the neighbouring Hari Gehal tehsil, eight shops and three houses were completely damaged, injuring at least three persons, he said.
“For now, we have brought tents and other stuff to help victims temporarily rehabilitate themselves, but we will be needing more stuff,” he said.
Qureshi said the miseries of the affected people were bound to multiply as rains were expected to lash many areas.
He said reports were received from almost all affected areas that trees had toppled on electricity cables, suspending power supply.
“These are the damages that have been reported from along the main or link roads. But exact and complete details of losses across the state will start pouring in tomorrow,” he said.
Despite the damages caused by the blustery winds, rains have turned the weather pleasant by plummeting the sizzling temperatures.