Rain and a dust storm with a wind speed of up to 70 kmph hit Delhi and several parts of Punjab and Haryana, including Faridabad and Gurgaon, on Sunday, bringing the mercury down after a spell of scorching heat over the past few days.
Two people died and 18 were injured in Delhi due to the dust storm, news agency ANI reported. At least 18 deaths due to lightning were reported in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Six deaths were reported in Uttar Pradesh.
Flight movements at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport were disrupted, according to ANI. Private airline Vistara’s Srinagar-Delhi flight was diverted to Amritsar, it said in a tweet.
More than 40 incoming flights were diverted from IGI airport, an official told IANS, adding the diversions took place between 4.15pm and 6.30pm. The official cited poor visibility and strong winds for the disruption in operations.
The storm interrupted chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s programme in the IP Extension area. Delhi Metro’s Blue Line (Noida-Dwarka) too stopped operations for a brief period.
Several media reports said traffic movement was affected due to the change in weather conditions that came a day after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted thunderstorm accompanied by squall in north western Himalayan states of Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
Its forecast said parts of Rajasthan might also see a dust storm.
On May 2, a thunderstorm killed 134 people across northern India, with hundreds more reported injured.
Sunday’s rain brought temperatures down in Delhi, where the maximum temperature reached 40.60 degrees Celsius, a notch above the normal, a weather department official told PTI. Humidity during the morning hours was recorded at 60%, the official added.
Saturday’s maximum temperature settled at 42.8 degrees Celsius, three notches above the season’s average, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 26.7 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season’s average.
Chandigarh, Sonipat, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Karnal, Ambala, Panchkula, Jhajjar, Gurgaon and Faridabad too saw temperatures dipping.
Strong winds swept through Haryana and light rain was reported in several areas of the state. Parts of Punjab too experienced light rain.
Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, earlier on Sunday recorded a maximum temperature of 39.1 degrees Celsius, a notch above the normal.
In Haryana, Ambala recorded a maximum temperature of 39.4 degrees Celsius, Hisar 41.6 degrees Celsius, Bhiwani 41 degrees Celsius, Karnal 39 degrees Celsius and Narnaul 42.5 degrees Celsius.
Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala in Punjab too registered above normal temperatures of 39.5 degrees Celsius, 40.7 degrees Celsius and 40 degrees Celsius.
(With agency inputs)