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Windstorms kill one, leave 1,300 houses damaged in Indian Kashmir

Indian commuters make their way during a downpour in Amritsar on July 27, 2009. Monsoon rains have been lashing parts of India in recent days but for farmers anxiously scanning the skies, there are fears the rain gods may deliver too little, too late. Rains in June were the scantiest in 83 years and there is worry that even with the rains building momentum, the damage has already been done and crops will suffer. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Srinagar, India (AFP) July 27, 2009
Severe windstorms left a young woman dead, injured dozens and damaged around 1,300 houses in the northern parts of revolt-hit Indian-ruled Kashmir, officials said Monday.

The windstorms that swept across northern districts of Handwara and Langate late Sunday also left thousands of homes without power, an official statement said.

Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday visited the affected areas and ordered immediate relief for the victims.

He was informed by the local officials that a 22-year-old woman was killed and 40 other residents were hurt.

"One thousand three hundred residential houses were partially or fully damaged by the windstorm that created havoc in some 39 villages," the statement said.

The high-speed winds also flattened fruit trees and crops.

Emergency services were called out to clear fallen trees and debris.

Indian Kashmir is in the grip of a 20-year old insurgency that has so far left more than 47,000 people dead by official count.

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Ten killed as violent storms slam Central Europe
Warsaw (AFP) July 24, 2009
Ten people were killed and dozens injured as violent storms slammed Central Europe overnight to Friday, felling trees and electricity poles, ripping off roofs and causing local flooding. Western and south-western Poland were hardest hit, with hurricane-force winds reaching 130-kilometres-per-hour (80 miles-per-hour) in some areas. "Eight people died in all," Poland's national fire ... read more

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