Delhi-NCR hit by sudden dust storm, rain; flights grounded

Thunderstorm Squall Likely In North Indian Hill States In 48 HRS IMD

Dust storms and thunderstorms wreaked havoc in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and the national capital, killing at least 41 people and leaving behind a trail of destruction.

Deaths were registered as a result of falling trees and electric posts, collapsed walls and lightning strikes.

UP was the worst affected, accounting for 80 deaths, majority in Agra district in the western part of the state.

Winds at speeds of 109 kmph uproot 189 trees; over 70 flights diverted & 100 delayed.

After the storm was followed by hail, which caused even more harm to local residents, livestock and crops.

The two deceased included a woman from Pandav Nagar and a youth from Jaitpur area, the lady reportedly died after a tree branch fell on her whereas a person in Jaitpur was hit by a cement sheet that fell on him.

Five deaths were reported from Howrah district's Uluberia sub-division, while there were two deaths each in Paschim Midnapore, North 24 Parganas and Nadia districts, and one in Murshidabad district, he said.




The deadly storm also hit West Bengal, where eight people, including four children, were killed in Kolkata.

"Thunderstorms will also hit the South, but they won't be as strong", said M Mohapatra, head of services, IMD.

It had also forecast parts of Rajasthan might see dust storm. The Palam observatory recorded a wind speed of 96 kmph, the officer said.

Traffic came to a standstill at several areas in Delhi while Metro services along the Noida-Dwarka line was stalled for 30 minutes.

In Uttar Pradesh, 21 people, including a tourist from Maharashtra, died and 28 were injured due to inclement weather conditions, according to reports.

Strong winds swept through Haryana as the weather changed suddenly and light rain lashed several areas, a meteorological department official said in Chandigarh. The thunderstorm is likely to continue over the next two-three days, Charan Singh, a scientist with the Indian Meteorological Department, told ANI.

The strong winds knocked down almost 200 trees in the city. Now, train services on all lines of the Delhi metro are running as per normal schedule after fix of overhead electricity (OHE) wires.

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