May 22, 2018 / 1:41 PM / in 5 months

Gales damage peace pyramid in Kazakh capital

ASTANA (Reuters) - Gale-force winds have punched holes in one of Astana’s best known buildings, a granite-and-glass pyramid, the Kazakh authorities said, warning that stormy weather could continue.

A general view shows the Palace of Peace and Harmony, the 62 metres (203.41 feet) high pyramid designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster, damaged by gale-force winds in Astana, Kazakhstan May 22, 2018. REUTERS/Mukhtar Kholdorbekov

The Palace of Peace and Accord, a 62-metre high pyramid designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster, is in the heart of the city and is used for conferences and stages opera performances in its basement.

A general view shows the Palace of Peace and Harmony, the 62 metres (209.97 feet) high pyramid designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster, damaged by gale-force winds in Astana, Kazakhstan May 22, 2018. REUTERS/Mukhtar Kholdorbekov

Gusts moving at up to 90 kph (about 56 mph) also ripped the roofs off at least three buildings on Tuesday, including a school and a kindergarten, Astana mayor’s office said in a statement. A crane toppled over.

The mayor’s office said 13 people suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the storm and warned that winds of a similar strength were expected on Wednesday.

Known for its eye-catching architecture, Astana, once a small provincial center, became the capital of the oil-rich Central Asian nation 20 years ago, prompting a construction boom.

Among its notable buildings are a tent-shaped shopping mall and a 105-metre high tower with an observation deck inside a sphere on top, with a gilded print of the right hand of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the country’s leader since 1989.

Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Alison Williams

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