Dust Storm Hits Delhi, Other Cities, 20 States On Storm Alert: 10 Points

Weather forecast: Strong winds hit Delhi and neighbouring Gurgaon just before midnight on Monday. The weather office has said the wind speed will rise in the national capital today

Weather forecast: Thunderstorm and dust storm wreaked havoc in UP and Rajasthan last week. (File)

Highlights

  • Afternoon schools in Delhi have declared holiday, police on alert
  • Gurgaon, Delhi residents post videos of trees swaying in strong wind
  • Wind speed likely to remain between 50 and 70 km per hour
New Delhi: Strong winds hit Delhi half-an-hour before midnight on Monday, a harbinger of the formidable thunderstorm that is expected to hit the national capital region at dawn today. By 11 pm on Monday, Gurgaon had started experiencing strong winds, with videos posted online by residents showing trees swaying violently in the dark. Many areas in Tamil Nadu and Kerala are also showing moderate thunderstorm conditions. Following warnings from the met department, schools have declared holiday in the afternoon and the police are on alert. Delhi Metro has said it will exercise extreme caution in case wind speed exceeds 90 km. The bad weather is expected to extend across 20 states, which are on alert following last week's dust storm, which claimed more than 120 lives across five states.

Here is your 10-point cheat sheet to this development:

  1. "People should not stay inside cars or take shelter under a tree during the storm," Dr Pradhan told NDTV. "This time the wind speed can be 50-60 kmph, and might reach 70 kmph," India Meteorological Department scientist Dr D Pradhan told NDTV.

  2. Chandigarh is seeing heavy showers. In Uttarakhand's Chamoli, two pilgrims were injured as heavy rains accompanied by high-speed winds blew away rooftops and uprooted trees.

  3. The Delhi government has ordered all afternoon schools to remain closed today as precautionary measures. Search and rescue teams have been put on standby in every district of Delhi. The Delhi police, who are also on alert, have asked people not to venture out without checking storm warnings.

  4. The Delhi Metro has decided to exercise extreme caution while running trains. "If the wind speed is reported to be above 90 km per hour, trains will be put on hold at platforms. No train will enter platforms with a speed of more than 15 kmph," news agency Press Trust of India quoted a metro official as saying.

  5. Schools in neighbouring Haryana have been closed till today following storm warnings. The Haryana government has cancelled leave of all municipal officials in view of the met department's forecast. The fire department and other emergency services, too, have been asked to stay on alert.

  6. The met department has issued warnings about thunderstorms and squalls across 20 states: Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Bihar, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Odisha, Telangana, north Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

  7. The wind speed in these states is likely to remain between 50 and  70 km per hour, the met department said.

  8. Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are likely to experience hail storm.  Dust storm is likely in parts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh today.

  9. The bad weather in most states is likely to extend till Wednesday. Last week, at least 120 people were killed and more than 300 others injured across five states due to dust storms, thunderstorms and lightning.

  10. The met department, however, said the impact of the storm this time will be less than that of last week.



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